Nonprofit sells off UES school, arousing community’s ire

February 04, 2014 04:10PM

Nonprofit organization the Children’s Aid Society is selling the Rhinelander Children’s Center to fund new construction for a charter school in the Tremont section of the Bronx.

The 350 East 88th Street Rinelander Center’s price tag is about $20 million, and the proceeds from the sale will go towards the purchase and overhaul of an abandoned Freeman Street theater in Tremont that will serve as a modern school and community center for the Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School. The estimated cost for the project is $30 million.

The move feeds into the nonprofit’s goal to help children in the city’s neediest areas, which it has identified as Washington Heights, Harlem, East Harlem, northern Staten Island and the South Bronx. But it has sparked the ire of those affiliated with the Rhinelander Center, who lament the loss of a “affordable” preschool and after-school program in the pricey Upper East Side.

“I understand they need to do what they need to do, but on a personal level, it’s so frustrating being a parent of young children in Manhattan,” Cindy Lee, a parent whose son had been enrolled in classes at Rhinelander, told the New York Times.

The situation mirrors the $33 million sale of a former children’s and adolescents’ program site at 209-219 Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village in 2011. The property is now set for conversion into 25 luxury condominiums. [NYT]Julie Strickland