Art Students Drill Educational Alliance CEO on Renovation Plans

Since the summer, we have been following developments at the Educational Alliance art school, where students are up-in-arms about the historic Lower East Side institution’s renovation plans.  Tonight, some of those students gathered in the rain for a brief protest in front of the Educational Alliance’s headquarters, at 197 East Broadway.  They then proceeded up to the 5th floor studios, where the organization’s CEO, Robin Bernstein, fielded questions from 50-60 angry students.

More on Ed. Alliance’s Revamp, Art School Changes

Architectural rendering; the Educational Alliance's new community room.

Last month, the Educational Alliance announced it planned a top-to-bottom, multi-million dollar renovation of its flagship building at 197 East Broadway.   Today we have the first interview with Robin Bernstein, the organization’s longtime president and CEO, about the big project.

Now hanging in the lobby of the 122 year old building, there are several large blow-up drawings (including the one you see above) showing what the facility will look like when it’s completed in a couple of years. It’s an exciting moment for the Educational Alliance and for the community. There’s no doubt a face lift is long overdue.

But at the same time, the plans are already creating some controversy, especially among students and teachers of the agency’s venerable art school.  During our conversation, Bernstein shared new details about the project, addressed the concerns and talked about the thinking behind the overhaul, which has been in-the-works for several years.