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Construction & Design

New Harlem Academy opens at 655 St Nicholas Avenue

Harlem Academy officially opened the doors of its new permanent home at 655 St. Nicholas Avenue today.

Designed by Perkins Eastman and built with EW Howell as the managing contractor, the five-story, 29,000 s/f building will expand the school’s impact to more students and strengthen its program.

The new campus features a bright, airy entry commons; an expansive library; big, flexible classrooms with strong technology and abundant natural light; a café; and dedicated outdoor spaces for learning, play, and sports.

Harlem Academy purchased the half-acre lot at 655 St. Nicholas Avenue seven years ago as the future site of its new campus. The school’s successful capital campaign raised more than $32 million for construction of the new building, and the project broke ground in August 2020.

The new location offers convenient access from Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx and is located near historic landmarks, parks, Columbia University, and City College.  

“Our new permanent campus is a vibrant space that provides a learning atmosphere designed to inspire, challenge, and support our students,” says founder and Head of School Vinny Dotoli. “The move to the new building launches the next stage in our school’s evolution, allowing us to nearly double our student population and create even more robust programs. Most critically, it ensures a lasting pathway to opportunity for generations of students to come.”

Founded in 2004, Harlem Academy is a private school for grades K-8 with a mission to drive equity of opportunity for promising students. The school fills a critical gap in the education landscape as the only independent K-8 school in Manhattan focused on high-potential students from underserved communities. Prior to completion of its new campus, the school had been operating out of three rented, noncontiguous storefronts.

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