College officials vote to end lease with international school



The Board of Trustees voted not to renew the college’s lease to Kaplan International School after it ends in 2017.

The international school has been renting classrooms on campus since 2007 and has paid almost four million dollars to City College. But lack of college space and community complaints about international students forced board members to reconsider the rental.

“We have to answer to the community,” said Trustee Marty Blum. “If they see us renting out space to another organization that teaches, the question is why are we then building another classroom.”

Only two board members voted to renew the lease. The rest agreed that the potential use of space is too important to give up.

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin recommended that the renewal be approved, citing that the funds generated are important to the college. She also added that the majority of Kaplan students stay in family homes, rather than impacting the housing market.

“The impact that many of the community suggest as a negative is that the students are occupying housing that would be occupied by our employees or the workforce in the community,” Gaskin said. “But as we have seen… that’s not the case. Well over 90 percent are homestays, so that’s why we’re suggesting that the board consider approval.”

Members of the board agreed that classroom space for the college is priority over renting out the building to an external institution, and could send the wrong message to the public.

“The problem is the community perception…. I think Kaplan can find space, I know they can find space….” Blum said. “But I don’t think we should be renting to them in our place, in our location here, just because we have to answer to the constituents. I know it’s a hit to the budget, but I just think it’s very important that we are clear with our message here.”

The Kaplan lease will end in June of 2017.