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Sinatra school opens in Queens

September 21, 2009 3:39:28 PM PDT
It was a star studded celebration in Queens on Monday for the opening of a new public school. The Frank Sinatra School for the Arts was founded by fellow singer Tony Bennett.

Bennett raised most of the $78 million needed for the school, which is located just blocks from his boyhood home.

So why is Frank Sinatra the namesake of the school?

"The fact that in Life magazine he called me his favorite singer -- I've never gotten over that. So that's where it's at. That's why this school is called the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts," Bennett said.

Tony Bennett was raised Tony Benedetto in astoria. He and his wife, Susan, founded the school.

The new building is directly across the street from Kaufmann-Astoria studios, on land donated by the studios. The public high school is partly supported by private funds.

There are just over 700 students. They are required to audition for one of several arts programs. The school already has a reputation for academic achievement.

The school was founded in 2001 and has occupied two temporary locations since that time. Students and teachers tell us this state of the art facility represents a huge improvement.


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