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Success Academy Demands Investigation Into Explosion at DOE School

February 26, 2016

Contact: Dan Bank, (212) 681-1380

[email protected]

Success Academy Union Square scholars and hundreds of other district school students left in dark after explosion at Union Square’s Washington Irving building

New York, NY ― Success Academy Union Square parents and scholars, as well as hundreds of other students from five other schools located at the Irving Place building, awoke today to a scene of chaos as their school is now closed indefinitely due to a large electrical explosion that went unreported for hours.

Electricians, who had been working to bring additional power into the school building, disrupted electrical feeder wires. This caused a fire and explosion – strong enough to make the building shake, knock out power and produce a strong burning smell.

Worse, Success Academy Union Square’s 330 scholars and almost 2,000 other students are now left without a school for an undetermined period of time.

“We demand the city immediately launch an investigation into how an explosion of this magnitude could happen at a school,” said Eva Moskowitz. “Parents should be able to expect that their children will be safe when they attend school.”

This is the second time this year that Success scholars have been forced to miss valuable time inside the classroom because DOE schools were deemed unsafe. In January, Success Academy Rosedale closed after 11 gas leaks were found inside the building.



 Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public pre-k through 12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 34 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 11,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 13% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 1% in math and the top 3% in English on 2015 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 22,000 applications for fewer than 2,300 open seats last year. Two Success Academy schools, Success Academy Harlem 1 and Harlem 3, have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, the only Harlem schools in the last 25 years to receive this prestigious award.

 For more information about Success Academy, go to and

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