Propel secures lease of Columbus Middle School building


Propel Northside Inc. recently signed a one year lease to start a charter school in the building where Columbus Middle School used to be.

The lease was approved by the Pittsburgh Public Schools board, and specifies that Propel pay $10,000 a month to use the bottom three floors of the building.

“I think it makes sense for the taxpayers to put a building back to use,” said Propel Executive Director Jeremy Resnick.

“It’s centrally located on the Northside and I think it’s a good place to start.”

Resnick said that this would only be a temporary location, however, because the building is so large.

“I don’t think it’s a good permanent location,” he said.

Propel Northside has hired Ariane Watson, an employee from one of the other Propel charter schools, to be the principal at the new location. It is still hiring other staff members.

The school’s application period ended on May 6, although parents may still submit an application on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, there is room for 200 students and the school has already received “quite a few” applications, Resnick said.

Propel Northside is now in the process of letting parents know that there is a place for them at the school. They will begin kindergarten screenings in June.

The spokesperson for Pittsburgh Public Schools did not return a request for comment by press time.

Jeanette Lee is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Professional Writing and Investigative Journalism.


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