PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It may sound like an unusual living arrangement; but high school students and tenants are both peacefully co-existing in their new downtown digs.
Students ready to start their school day in the new location for the City Charter High School make their way into 201 Stanwix Street through a private entrance.
The school moved to the old Verizon building earlier this month and their new neighbors are tenants in the upstairs apartments.
“As a charter school, we’re supposed to think differently; we’re supposed to think out of the box,” Richard Wertheimer, the school’s principal and co-founder, told KDKA-TV.
After spending 10 years in the Clark Building, Wertheimer said they wanted to keep City High downtown. The school has the first four floors of the building with over 600 students.
While the students are separated inside from the tenants, Wertheimer says being downtown immerses them in a professional world. “To come downtown, to rub elbows with all the people that are working… white collar, blue collar people and just get to know what the world is about. I think it gives them a whole new perspective.”
Robert Edelman with PMC Property Group says most of the 158 newly renovated apartments have already been filled. Applauding the relationship for working so well, he says they consider the school to be just another tenant. “It works. The kids do not see the tenants,” Edelman adds, “the tenants don’t see the kids… it’s worked well!”
The PMC Property Group says they’ve tried this model before and it’s worked, but by far this is the most successful combination of residential living and education.