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Epstein sells Olivette campus to Miriam Foundation

H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy, a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school, has sold its property in Olivette to the Miriam Foundation, which will use the building for the Miriam Academy, a high school for students with special needs.

According to a news release, Miriam Academy is planning a $2 million renovation of the building, with construction beginning in January, and will start the 2020-2021 school year at the Olivette location, 1138 N. Warson Road. 

Epstein plans to purchase a smaller building in University City that was designed in the 1950s to serve as an elementary school but for decades has been occupied by UCP Heartland, a nonprofit that provides programs for people living with a spectrum of disabilities.  

Epstein has been at the Olivette location for the past five decades. The eight-acre site includes a 58,000 square foot building. 

The building purchase comes after the Miriam Foundation reached an agreement with Congregation Shaare Emeth to purchase the former B’nai El property, which Shaare Emeth now owns. However, that deal could not be completed because the trustees of the Village of Westwood, one of two municipalities in which the property was located, did not approve its rezoning. 

In an interview with the Light in July when the planned purchase was announced, Thorp said the Epstein property, located at 1138 N. Warson Road, “fits our classrooms perfectly. The great part about it is there is actually a municipality that is welcoming us. Zoning should not be an issue for us as we move forward as it’s already a school.”

Thorp also mentioned the building’s location next to the Danforth Plant Science Center. In addition, he pointed out, the St. Louis County Economic Development Partnership’s plan is to build trails and pedestrian paths in the area. 

Epstein, an early childhood, elementary and middle school, is planning to purchase a 21,000 square-foot building located at 8645 Old Bonhomme Road.