News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott, Speaker Quinn and Local Officials HoldRibbon Cutting Ceremony at P.S. 51 in Manhattan

09/18/2013

The New Building Features Gymnasiums and a Rooftop Playground

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and local officials today held a ribbon cutting ceremony at P.S. 51in Manhattan. The new, state-of-the-art building opened September 9 to serve 640 students in grades pre-kindergarten through five and special education. The new building, located at 525 W. 44th Street, is just a block from its original location on West 45th Street. However, for the past two years, P.S. 51 was temporarily relocated to East 91st Street during construction. The new building has six stories and is fully air-conditioned and accessible for students with disabilities. It has 24 classrooms, a music room, art room, and science labs. There also are six District 75 classrooms for P.S. 94 with rooms for physical and occupational therapy. The facility also has a cafeteria and kitchen, library, rooftop playground, and street-level playground and two gymnasiums, including one that is also used as an auditorium. P.S. 51 is known for its focus on theater and the performing arts. Rosie's Theater Kids funds theatre education to students in the fifth grade, and Spotlight on Fitness provides tap dancing instruction to all other students in the school.

Chancellor Walcott was joined at the event by  Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm, School Construction Authority CEO and President Lorraine Grillo, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, State Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, State Senator Brad Hoylman, District 75 Superintendent Gary Hecht, District 2 Superintendent Mariano Guzman, PTA Co-President Susan Tracy Mannix, School Leadership Team Chairperson Lauren Miller, Westside Alliance Board Member Tom Cayler, Network Leader Dan Feigelson, P.S. 51 Principal Nancy Sing-Bock and P94 Principal Ronnie Shuster. The $54.7 million contract award for the new building went to Turner Construction Company, and it was designed by AECOM.

“I want to welcome back home the P.S. 51 community, which was temporarily relocated,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “This new building provides students with a state-of-the-art facility the will give our students the opportunity to excel and prepare them well for college or a career.”

“Today’s re-opening of P.S. 51 is cause for real celebration,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “The new state of the art building and improved facilities will be a great benefit to the children of this neighborhood for years to come.”

“Not only will this newly constructed school give students a state of the art facility but will also foster a better learning environment for the hundreds of children walking through these doors each day,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Through the collaborative work of parents, teachers and educators, we’ve been able to give P.S. 51 students a new outlet to study hard, pursue their dreams and provide them with a wonderful new opportunity to succeed.”

“I am delighted to welcome back the parents and students of P.S. 51 to their community in a brand-new space on West 44th Street,” said State Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “The school has persevered through construction and two years of relocation and now has a state-of-the-art building in which to provide quality education to the children of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. I look forward to working closely with teachers, parents and students in the coming years.”

“I'm extremely happy to join Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott at the ribbon-cutting for our new P.S. 51 and to welcome the Elias Howe School community back to Hell’s Kitchen,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman. “I’d like to thank Principal Nancy Sing-Bock, the entire staff of P.S. 51, the PTA, parents and students, and the DOE, for making the school's temporary relocation work. P.S. 51, along with the new affordable housing in Gotham West, is in the heart of my Senate district and is one of the jewels of our city's school system. I wish the entire school community a great year in this wonderful new home.”

“We are providing a new building in their old neighborhood to the students and staff at P.S. 51,” Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm said. “The building has top-notch rooms for music and art, and science labs to prepare students for middle and high school.”

“The School Construction Authority is proud to offer a building close to where P.S. 51 originally was located,” SCA President Lorraine Grillo said. “The new building is state-of-the-art for the 21st century student.”

“We are delighted with the new building and the new rooftop playground,” P.S. 51 Principal Nancy Sing-Bock said. “We have waited two years to return to our original location, and I want to thank the SCA, Speaker Quinn, CSA President Logan, the UFT, the strong larger community and Gotham Construction for helping to make this happen. PS 51 is excited to continue providing the best possible education to our students including a rich arts education program.

“P.S. 94 is thrilled to be expanding their program in to P.S. 51,” Principal Ronnie Shuster said. “Of course, the building is beautiful, but more importantly the opportunities for integration and socialization for our students will open up so many new doors for them. We look forward to a strong and fruitful collaboration.”

“The new P.S. 51 is a classic example of cooperation between our local elected officials, school administrators, parent body, the developer, the DOE, the School Construction Authority, CB4, and the neighborhood,” said West Side Neighborhood Alliance Board Member Tom Cayler. “Over seven years, these groups have worked together to get our children, and generations to come, the best possible school. Special thanks have to go to Melanie LaRocca from Speaker Quinn’s office; Nancy Sing-Bock, our principal; Melissa Pianko of the Gotham Organization Inc.; and Joe Restuccia of Community Board 4.”

“On behalf of the School Leadership Team, I would like to say that we are excited to finally be in our brand new building. It has been a long journey but it was well worth the wait,” SLT Chairperson Lauren Miller said. “Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this dream a reality. P.S. 51 is truly a community of learners and we appreciate the hard work and efforts put forth on our behalf. It's good to be home in our community.”

P.S. 51 is one of 19 newly constructed school buildings that opened this year. The DOE, which oversees the SCA, opened 164 new buildings, creating over 126,000 new seats since 2002.