Citybiz Real Estate
May 29, 2012
Two new charter high schools, Newark Prep and Spirit Prep, are slated to open in September at 570 Broad Street in downtown Newark.
The schools will occupy four floors totaling 60,000 square feet in the 15-story, 200,000-square-foot former First State National Bank building, which is owned and managed by The Berger Organization.
Managed by K12, a national provider of online learning education, each school will combine college-prep and career readiness programs with an online learning curriculum and a focus on the needs of Newark area students.
Currently, North Star Academy, Newark Collegiate Academy and Visions Academy are the only charter schools open to rising ninth graders in Newark.
The lack of alternative choices for Newark high school students is one of the main reasons why the schools’ founders collaborated to develop two schools – distinct in themes, but similar in innovation, according to Darren Reed, vice president of blended schools at K12 Inc.
Newark Prep, whose enrollment is open to students who reside in Newark, will mix traditional instruction with an interactive online learning program that meets students where they are and allows them to accelerate at their own pace.
570 Broad Street’s proximity to transportation hubs Newark Penn Station, Broad St. Station and two light rail stops, makes the school accessible to students from all across the city.
Spirit Prep, open to Newark, East Orange and Irvington residents, is designed to fulfill the needs of an underserved population of music students. Students will be within walking distance of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Museum, and radio station WBGO Jazz 88.
“We are a public high school option dedicated to providing students with a first-class blended learning experience in a school environment that is permeated with music,” said Harold Wright, president of the Spirit Prep board of trustees.
The schools will occupy the first four floors of 570 Broad Street, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation.
In addition to being located within walking distance of transportation hubs, 570 Broad Street is across from Newark’s Washington Square Park near local dining, shopping and lodging, as well as such entertainment venues as Prudential Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Bears Stadium. The property is also within walking distance of the Newark campuses of Seton Hall and Rutgers universities, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.