New Jewish School to Rise on West End Avenue

30westend New Jewish School to Rise on West End AvenueThe Abraham Joshua Heschel School – a Jewish private school named for the late theological luminary (the same theologian after whom Missouri officials recently wanted to rename a highway as a slap in the face to the group of neo-Nazis who maintain it) – is building a more than 120,000-square-foot school on 61st Street and West End Avenue. 

On Oct. 14, the school filed plans with the Department of Buildings for a new, nine-story building at 246 West 61st Street. The school will sit on that lot, which the school purchased for $18 million in 2006, and the adjacent 30 West End Avenue, acquired in 2000 and now leased to an auto dealer.

The school has partly the largesse of chemical titan Ronald P. Stanton to thank. Mr. Stanton, a Heschel parent who made his fortune as founder and chairman of Transammonia, Inc., a firm that deals in fertilizers and liquefied petroleum gas, among other such substances, recently donated $33 million to the capital campaign. Mr. Stanton is also the man behind the largest ever donation to Yeshiva University ($100 million).

The new building, to be designed by Gruzen Samton Architects, will house grades kindergarten through eighth, and will sit adjacent to Heschel’s new high school at 20 West End Avenue, completed in 2002. This will allow the elementary and middle schools, now at other locations, to be combined with the high school into one big campus.

The project is expected to be completed in 2012.

drubinstein@observer.com