Two Charter Schools Set to Open at Berger's 570 Broad Street

Top Quote Newark Prep and Spirit Prep will Occupy Four Floors of the Downtown Tower. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) May 30, 2012 - Two new charter high schools, Newark Prep and Spirit Prep, are slated to open in September at 570 Broad Street, a newly renovated landmark in downtown Newark. Owned and managed by The Berger Organization, the former First State National Bank is one of the most technologically advanced buildings in Newark. The schools will occupy four floors totaling 60,000 square feet in the 15-story, 200,000-square-foot building.

    "We are very pleased to welcome these two schools to 570 Broad Street," said Miles Berger, chairman and CEO of The Berger Organization. "Both schools provide invaluable educational experiences to deserving students. Our ability to accommodate them is rewarding for everyone - their presence at 570 Broad Street significantly enhances the tenant roster while offering the students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance their studies in a downtown business environment."

    Managed by K12, a national provider of online learning education, each school will combine rigorous college-prep and career readiness programs with an award-winning online learning curriculum and a unique focus to serve the needs of Newark area students. School founders believe implementation of this blended learning model will provide a one-of-a-kind educational experience to every enrolled student seeking a direct path to college, careers, and real-world success.

    "K12 is excited to provide our high-quality curriculum and instructional services to Newark Prep and Spirit Prep," said Darren Reed, vice president of blended schools at K12 Inc. "Through blended learning, teachers and educators are finding new ways to better personalize instruction and help students engage, learn, and succeed."

    Spirit Prep and Newark Prep are among a small number of charter high schools to populate the downtown Newark area. Currently, only North Star Academy, Newark Collegiate Academy and Visions Academy are open to rising ninth graders. The lack of alternative choices for Newark high school students is one of the main reasons why the schools' founders collaborated to develop two schools - distinct in themes, but similar in innovation, according to Reed.

    Newark Prep, whose enrollment is open to students who reside in Newark, will mix traditional instruction with an interactive online learning program that meets students where they are and allows them to accelerate at their own pace. 570 Broad Street's proximity to major transportation hubs Newark Penn Station, Broad St. Station and two light rail stops, makes the school easily accessible to students from all across the city.

    "Being in the heart of the business and transportation section of Newark will provide our students with great opportunities for internships and mentoring in the career that interests them," said Gary Wescott, a Newark Prep board member.

    Spirit Prep, open to Newark, East Orange and Irvington residents, is designed to fulfill the needs of an underserved population of music students. Students will reap the benefits of 570 Broad Street's location within walking distance of several of New Jersey's most culturally distinguished institutions, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Museum, and radio station WBGO Jazz 88.

    "So many kids want to learn a musical instrument, but seats in the music magnet schools are too few to serve all those who want the opportunity," said Harold Wright, president of the Spirit Prep board of trustees. "We are a public high school option dedicated to providing students with a first-class blended learning experience in a school environment that is permeated with music."

    The schools will occupy the first four floors of 570 Broad Street, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation. "The schools and K12 are pleased to partner with The Berger Organization in this endeavor," said Zach Wasilew, K12 vice president for business development. "Miles Berger has been instrumental in making a large investment that will transform office space into a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology and designed for high positive-impact, face-to-face instruction."

    In addition to being located within walking distance of transportation hubs, 570 Broad Street is across from Newark's Washington Square Park near local dining, shopping and lodging, as well as such entertainment venues as Prudential Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Bears Stadium. The property is also within walking distance of the Newark campuses of Seton Hall and Rutgers universities, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

    In addition to 570 Broad Street, The Berger Organization's Newark portfolio includes landmark office buildings at 10, 50, and 60 Park Place (the Fireman's Insurance Building, Robert Treat Center, and Military Park Building, respectively). Other properties in the city include the 176-room Best Western Robert Treat Hotel and the Griffith and Hahne buildings at 605 and 609 Broad Street, both slated for mixed-use redevelopment.

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