Chancellor Fariña Unveils New State-Of-The-Art Building for PS 191 Riverside School for Makers and Artists

  • Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018

New 692-seat building features art and music rooms, a library, a gymnasium, science labs, and two rooftop recreational spaces

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña joined students, community members, educators and local officials today to celebrate the opening of a new building for PS 191, The Riverside School for Makers and Artists in District 3. The brand new, 122,000-square-foot space provides 692 seats for pre-K through 8th grade students and features art and music rooms, two rooftop recreational spaces, a library, a medical suite, a gymnasium, and full science labs that support hands-on learning. Located in the new Riverside Center development at 300 West End Avenue, the building is also fully air-conditioned and fully accessible to people with disabilities. 

“This new building is an important investment in the District 3 community and will transform the way students learn by providing access to state-of-the-art music and art rooms, a science lab and a new library,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “New facilities like this are an integral part of our Equity and Excellence for All agenda, and by bringing together the District 3 community, we’re celebrating a new and exciting opportunity for students, families, and educators, who all played a critical role in making this a reality.” 

Starting this year, PS 191 will become an arts- and STEM-focused school. The school currently partners with Lincoln Center and Studio in a School to support rigorous arts instruction, and works with MakerState to bring hands-on projects in robotics, computer science and design into its classrooms. 

“Our community is thrilled to start the upcoming school year in a new building with exciting new resources and state-of-the-art facilities,” said Lauren Keville, principal of PS 191. “We’re eager to welcome a new cohort of students next month, and offer rigorous instruction in our brand new science lab, music room, art space and library.” 

As the DOE announced in August 2016, the School Construction Authority, in partnership with The Dermot Company and Tishman Construction, was able to complete work on the new school a full year ahead of schedule, allowing the PS 191 community to move into the new building in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year. 

“We’re pleased that this building will be ready by the start of the school year, a full year ahead of schedule,” said Lorraine Grillo, ‎President and CEO at NYC School Construction Authority. “This space includes state-of-the-art classrooms and resources, and we’re grateful to our partners at The Dermot Company and Tishman Construction, as well as to the entire District 3 community for their hard work, support and engagement.” 

“This project was truly a team effort – families, school staff, local officials, the District 3 CEC and the SCA all played an essential role in helping us get to this point,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “Congratulations to PS 191 and the entire District 3 community for the addition of this new building, which will serve a critical resource for families in this community.” 

The former PS 191 building, located at 210 West 61st Street, will be the new home of PS 452, which was previously co-located in the William J. O’Shea Campus. Starting this year, PS 452 will now have its own, stand-alone building, providing students and teachers with access to more resources and allowing the school to meet the growing demand for seats in the area. 

Along with the new building, PS 191 is also starting the school year with a new zone. The change is part of a broader plan approved by the District 3 Community Education Council that changed the zone lines for several schools in District 3 to help alleviate overcrowding, increase diversity across schools in the southern part of the District, and provide schools with the expanded resources and facilities they need to support their students and families. 

The Five-Year Capital Plan includes $4.5 billion in funding for new capacity and will support the creation of more than 44,000 new seats in overcrowded areas. The DOE is dedicated to addressing overcrowding and is continuing to work closely with CECs, families, community members and elected officials to identify suitable locations for new schools across the City. 

“We are thrilled with this new state-of-the-art building,” said CSA Executive Vice President Mark Cannizzaro. “We thank all those involved in this project, including Chancellor Fariña, Ms. Grillo and Principal Keville for their leadership and commitment to our students.” 

“This new building will provide new and exciting opportunities for the PS 191 and District 3 community,” said District 3 Superintendent Ilene Altschul. “Students of the Riverside School for Makers and Artists will have access to the state-of-the-art facilities, community partnerships and innovative and rigorous curricula enabling all students to succeed and thrive as productive citizens in the 21st century.” 

“I’m thrilled that this gleaming new school is opening to serve the neighborhood’s diverse student population, with Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs that were built with the input of active, engaged parents,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. 

“The opening of PS 191’s new campus at Riverside Center will provide new incredible resources for the community of students and families it serves,” said U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler. “Students will benefit from the building’s impressive facilities, including cutting-edge resources for arts and STEM instruction. Thank you to the entire District 3 community, DOE and SCA for their hard work towards making PS 191’s home at Riverside Center a reality. I look forward to the continued success of the school in its new building.” 

“This new facility will help district kids learn in a safe, modern, and comfortable environment that will nurture their young minds,” said State Senator Marisol Alcántara. “I applaud the Department of Education and Chancellor Fariña for making its construction a priority. The multidisciplinary focus of the school, which emphasizes both the logical thinking of STEM education and the creativity present in the arts, will prepare these kids for the future, whatever it may bring.” 

State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Featuring brand-new music rooms, recreational space, and full science lab, the new and improved PS 191 represents a forward-looking investment in the educational needs of the Upper West Side community. Under the able leadership of Principal Keville and with the unstinting support of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña, I look forward to watching PS 191 blossom into a first-rate center of learning, creativity, and innovation.” 

“I am thrilled that after years of hard work by members of the school community, parents and local elected officials, that the halls of this brand-new building will soon be filled with the sounds of learning and children’s laughter,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “District 3 is home to some of the best public schools in the City, and PS 191, The Riverside School for Makers and Artists will be no exception. I look forward to seeing the students excel in their new, state-of-the-art home as they push the limits of tech innovation in the Upper West Side’s backyard.” 

“I want to congratulate Principal Keville and all the teachers and staff at PS 191, Chancellor Fariña and her team at the DOE, and all of the parents and community members whose hard work made today's opening possible,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “This is a historic moment – an important step on the path to ensuring our local schools reflect the wonderful diversity of our community. To the students of PS 191, The Riverside School for Makers and Artists – I know you will take full advantage of all of the incredible resources and opportunities that this new school offers to you. Here’s to an enriching and very successful school year!”