UPPER EAST SIDE — A universal pre-kindergarten center with 180 seats is coming to East 76th Street, providing spots in a neighborhood clamoring for more pre-K options, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The new school, slated to open at 355 E. 76th St. between First and Second Avenues in September 2019, will include 10 classrooms with about 18 seats each, according to the Department of Education and the local community education council.
On Friday, the School Construction Authority signed a lease for the 41,814-square-foot brick building, which currently houses a parking garage and Hertz car rental outpost, said Linda Lumpkin, administrative assistant for Community Education Council 2.
The building will be "completely renovated," though it is not clear how much of it will be occupied by the school, the DOE said. A manager at the Hertz location confirmed that the company would be leaving the space.
Construction details are in the works, and architects will be brought in to determine the next steps, said Linda Lumpkin, administrative assistant for Community Education Council 2.
The new center will sit less than one block from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
"It's going to have a great impact in 2019," Upper East Side City Councilman Ben Kallos told DNAinfo, noting that the forthcoming program there marks the largest influx of universal pre-K seats in a single location in the neighborhood. "We’re working with providers and parents and public schools to identify anywhere and everywhere we can put pre-K."
In January, the Department of Education added 54 pre-K spots across the Upper East Side and 36 in Midtown East.
But at a rally in April, local parents and elected officials said that hundreds of kids were still being left out. During round one of admissions for the 2017-18 school year, 698 students living on the Upper East Side applied for just 461 available seats, the DOE said at the time.