Bronx school loses lease, has to move by Aug. 31

Instead of preparing for the coming academic year, the staff at the Learning Tree School in the Bronx is packing up and getting ready to move out of the building that has been its home for more than 20 years. The school lost its lease.

The Learning Tree Cultural Preparatory School was founded 45 years ago. For the last 21 years, the school has been located at 801 Bartholdi Street in the Williamsbridge section of the northeast Bronx.

The pre-kindergarten through 8th grade state-accredited private school has graduated thousands of students.

Now due to rising rents, the school must vacate its 35,000-square-foot space by Aug. 31. FOX 5 NY reached out to the property owner but he declined to be interviewed. 

The school was paying $30,000 a month. Principal Lois Gregory said the tenant replacing the school will be paying at least $90,000 a month. 

"We couldn't find anything in such a short length of time to move 22 classrooms, 300 children, and 42 employees, Gregory said. "It was almost impossible."

Gregory said it is time for the school to buy its own building and has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the capital.