British Education Invasion! Prep School Taking LaSalle’s East 2nd Space

450px lasalleacademy British Education Invasion! Prep School Taking LaSalles East 2nd Space The LaSalle Academy has leased its current building—55,000 square feet at 44 East 2nd Street—to the first New York school to be operated by the World Class Learning Group, which runs the British Schools of America. The new elementary school, set to open in September of this year, will be called the World Class Learning Academy of New York.

Grubb & Ellis, which issued a release, brokered the deal between LaSalle and the London-based WCL Group.

The school will leave its East 2nd Street location for a new home at 215 East 6th Street, to co-inhabit a space with St. Geroge’s Ukranian Catholic School. LaSalle’s Web site reflects this change in address. The World Class Learning Academy of New York will occupy two of LaSalle’s three properties on East 2nd Street.

The mission statement of LaSalle, a Catholic high school that has been in New York City since 1848, is, according to its Web site, “to educate young men of diverse cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds with special outreach to those most in need.”

The Web site of the British Schools of America, a collection of prep schools that currently operate in D.C., Boston, Houston, Chicago and Charlotte reads, “Welcome to a style of learning that’s New World innovative and Old World refined.”

Ken Famulare, director of development for LaSalle, said his school struck the deal because of financial troubles. The move, he said, allows three schools to exist: LaSalle, St. George’s and the new World Class Learning Academy of New York. Asked whether LaSalle was concerned about the fact that the new British school attracts a wealthier student base than LaSalle, Mr. Famulare said, “Certainly folks at the school [LaSalle] were happy it [World Class Learning Academy] was a school [for a tenant]. We’re also aware of the changing demographics of our neighborhood.”

Martin Cottingham, managing director for Grubb & Ellis, said his firm wanted to preserve LaSalle and thereby help the community.

“This project has allowed us to really stabilize the school and put it on good financial footing,” he said.

Updated 4:06pm

walden@observer.com