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New private school to open in downtown Brooklyn development


A tony private school is moving into prime Brooklyn real estate, taking over 10 stories of a new development above the historic Macy’s building in the heart of downtown, officials announced Wednesday.

The school, Whittle School and Studios, to be located at at 181 Livingston St. and open in the fall of 2020, is the third campus in a chain of for-profit, high-end, private schools dreamed up by education entrepreneur Chris Whittle, who also co-founded the private Avenues School in Chelsea.

“We are proud to announce that we have commenced construction of our latest Whittle School & Studios campus in Downtown Brooklyn – a vibrant part of New York City that has seen immense growth in recent years,” Whittle said.

The development, which features slanted wall-length windows and 16-foot ceilings, will tout a gym, theater, space for advanced sports and robotics and rooms for boarders in its 620,000 square foot facility. It will also boast an acre of outdoor space including a landscaped roof terrace, officials said. The school will be designed by the architecture firm Perkins Eastman

The Brooklyn campus joins a D.C. location and a school in Shenzhen, China, which both opened this year — part of a network of schools that founder Whittle says will encourage learning through group and project-based inquiry and full second-language immersion, most often in Chinese and Spanish.

The schools focus on global issues, and Whittle, a former publisher of Esquire Magazine, hopes to eventually open more than 30 across the world.

The Brooklyn campus will charge rates similar to other top-tier city private schools, officials said. Avenues in Chelsea listed its tuition as $56,400 this school year.

Larry Weiss, an experienced private school administrator, will be in charge of the new school, which will be open to Pre-K – 12th graders and eventually enroll 2,000 students. Weiss previously served as Head of School at Brooklyn Friends School and led Saint Ann’s School, a prestigious arts-oriented private institution in Brooklyn Heights.