City cuts ribbon on gift to Ridge children

Up-and-coming artist: Nourellah Arab shows off his favorite book at the new PS 264, Bay Ridge School of the Arts.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The arts finally have a home in Bay Ridge.

After two years of sharing space in Community Education Council 20’s district office on 89th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, PS 264 Bay Ridge Elementary School of the Arts moved into its own space across the way on Oct. 3 — and kids and neighborhood leaders came out to celebrate with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Right now the new school building fits 476 seats and students from kindergarten to second grade into the former location of a shuttered car wash, according to Council 20 President Laurie Windsor. Windsor added that each year the school will grow with its pupils and add a grade until they reach grade five. Under the guidance of principal — and former music teacher — Patrice Edison, the young boys and girls will study a curriculum heavily focused on songs, drawing, and painting.

But Windsor said that the school’s crowning jewel is its grand new auditorium

“It’s outstanding — more like a theater!” Windsor said, noting that the performance space is already fully equipped with a stage, dramatic lighting, and a baby grand piano.

PS 264’s young students — along with their friends from PS 231 in Bensonhurst — showed off their growing musical talents at the opening event with an impressive rendition of the Kool & the Gang song “Celebration.”

In her remarks at the ceremony, Windsor expressed her awe that the School Construction Authority had managed to create an incredible new facility in just a short time and a few hundred square feet.

“I could not imagine how beautiful this school would turn out, inside and outside. The design for this building in such a small space is amazing,” the Council president said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

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