New school to open inside Lehman High School’s campus

As one door may be closing for Lehman High School, another one will be opening this September.

Westchester Square Academy, a high school that will serve 108 students, was approved by the Department of Education’s Panel for Education Policy, to be co-located inside Lehman’s campus and begin accepting freshman for the 2012-2013 school year.

The new school is one of 54 new schools that will open across the five boroughs in the coming school year.

“As we’ve seen over the past decade, new schools have changed thousands of lives in New York City for the better, helping more students graduate and prepare for college and careers,” said Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

The new school will share Lehman’s campus with Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology.

Not everyone is happy over the new school.

Community Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns said he believes opening the new school is part of the plan to close Lehman High School.

“Lehman is there right now, and Renaissance is in there too, which means this will be adding a third school to compete for the gym, cafeteria and library,” he said.

While he believes Lehman will likely be phased out in a few years, Kearns doesn’t think it’s time to close it just yet.

“I think Lehman High School has a new principal and really should be given a chance to make it work,” he said.

Robert Bieder, Community Board 10’s chairman of Youth Services, said he thinks co-locating schools in existing buildings “is kind of ridiculous. We should be selling off all of these massive properties.

“To me, every community should have a 500-student school. I think it gives them much more opportunity to work with kids one-on-one.”

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