The opening of the Greenwich Village High School, originally scheduled for September 2009, has been pushed back a year.* The private school backed by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, deputy editor Aimee Bell, actor John Leguizamo, and New School president Bob Kerrey has abruptly lost some of its A-list funding, according to the New York Post.
"Officials pulled the plug after a ‘huge chunk’ of funds promised by donors never materialized, and probably never will, Vanity Fair deputy editor Aimee Bell, co-president of the school’s board of trustees, told me," wrote the Post‘s Andrea Peyser. "Greenwich Village HS was set to send out acceptance letters this week to the lucky few, or ‘Sorry’ letters to the rejects, when the decision was made to scrap it."
"Our new goal was to open in 2010," Ms. Bell told the Post. "Who knows what’s going to happen?"
But it seems that Ms. Bell’s quotes were taken out of context. According to Ms. Bell, she actually told Ms. Peyser, "Who know what’s going to happen with the economy. All non-profits are vulnerable.”
"We’re postponed for a year, not cancelled," Ms. Bell clarified to the Daily Transom. “We’re moving ahead to see if we can obtain funding for a 2010 opening. We’re trying to do something positive for the community, to provide another option for New York City High School kids.”
Just last month, the high school’s big plans seemed destined to succeed. Architects were hired to transform the rented Soho building at 30 Vandam Street. A board of directors and advisers, including the associate head of school at Dalton and the head of the high school at St. Ann’s, were summoned to make important decisions. A head of school had been hired, and a curriculum had been devised that was to include field trips around the city and lessons from Pulitzer Prize–winning playwrights. There would be study-abroad programs and late starting hours so that students could get their necessary sleep.
As the Jan. 15 application deadline approached, 80 students applied for the 45 ninth-grader spots. According to Ms. Peyser, the building has been abandoned and the phone, disconnected. But neither detail, says Ms. Bell, is accurate, and the school will (hopefully!) open instead in September 2010.
*This update corrects errors in a previous version.