Children's Aid Announces $45 Million Bronx Community School Investment

The Children’s Aid Society today announced the construction of its new state-of-the-art Bronx Community School, serving as both a community center and new location of Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School. This will be the most significant investment Children’s Aid has made as part of its continuing commitment to the South Bronx.

The six-story 73,300-square-foot building is expected to open in the fall of 2016, at a total project cost of $45 million. The building will be located at 1232 Southern Boulevard, in close proximity to other Children’s Aid locations that provide critical services to families in the South Bronx.

“Our new facility will serve as a true hub for the Bronx community with a comprehensive array of resources in the building or close at hand,” said Children’s Aid President and CEO Phoebe Boyer. “This project creates an ideal environment for what we believe is a cornerstone of our work—merging high-quality academics with the supports that break down the barriers to educational achievement for many lower-income families.”

The facility intends to provide early childhood education, after-school activities, weekend and summer programming while also serving as a community gathering space. The building will include a gymnasium/auditorium, cafeteria, expanded science room, art room, dedicated dance studio, music room, library/media center, and meeting rooms.  The Bronx Community School will sit in close proximity to:

  • The Children’s Aid Society’s Bronx Family Center, which offers access to licensed health, dental, and mental health services; foster care support services; preventive services for families involved with the city’s child welfare system; and domestic violence intervention;
  •  three other Children’s Aid early childhood centers;
  •  five other Children’s Aid community schools; and
  •  the Next Generation Center, a facility for adolescents as they prepare for adulthood.

“This is an incredible and much needed investment in our community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The South Bronx is a vibrant but under-resourced neighborhood that is poised for success. Our families want the same opportunity that all Americans have, and the Bronx Community School will put critical services within reach of many families who really need them. This is yet another example of Children’s Aid putting its resources where they are most needed.”

Children’s Aid College Prep opened in fall 2012 as a K-1 school and has added a new grade every year since. When it opens in 2016, the new building will accommodate approximately 420 students spanning grades PreK-5 at this location.

“We are thrilled to call the new Bronx Community School building our permanent home,” said Karen Drezner, the board chair for Children’s Aid College Prep. “Our mission for our scholars is to make college a plan, and not a dream. We’re sending a message that their education is truly important, and that their families and the entire community are vested in their long-term success.”

As part of a comprehensive community school strategy, Children’s Aid College Prep promotes high-quality learning and cognitive development, social and emotional skills, health and wellness, and meaningful family engagement so that its scholars are prepared for college success, a proven pathway out of poverty. The new building will feature components that create an enhanced learning environment. Air, light, and sound quality will be given special attention. Classrooms will be equipped with Smartboards, computers, and tablets.

“The people that call this neighborhood home deserve an outstanding facility like the Bronx Community School,” said Maria del Carmen Arroyo, the community’s city council member. “This school model brings enhanced services to our neighborhoods, and we are always happy to welcome them into our community.”

“Our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in New York City demands that we focus on those communities with the highest needs,” said Iris Abrons, the chair of Children’s Aid’s Board of Trustees. “In recent years, we have been strategic in divesting ourselves of some high-value assets and investing those resources into these communities. The Bronx Community School is one of the products of that plan.”

Jonathan Rose Companies has worked closely with Children’s Aid throughout all phases of the project to date. FXFOWLE Architects, a firm committed to innovative design inspired by urbanism, technology and sustainable strategies, was selected as the project’s architect. “The design enhances a sense of community inside and out,” said Sylvia Smith, a senior partner with FXFOWLE. “The dynamic exterior is inviting. Color and form signal that something special will happen within. Learning occurs everywhere. Corridors are transformed into piazzas–places to gather, learn, explore, play. Natural light enhances spaces throughout the building. We are thrilled to create a building that embodies the school’s mission.”

Children’s Aid purchased the land for the project in April 2014 and anticipates beginning construction in January 2015 with an expected opening date of August 2016.

The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, nonprofit organization established to serve the children of New York City.  Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email or visit


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