New Schools on the East Side
We have a new school coming to the East Side and some other education news to report.
Today, I chaired a hearing where my Land Use Subcommittee voted to approve a new school on the Con Ed site in the East 30s. As you know, the school was planned as part of the large scale rezoning of that area. Even though construction on the rest of the site is stalled, the city is moving forward with the school - which is fantastic. As of now, the 612-seat school is scheduled to open in 2013 and is crucial to reducing overcrowding on the East Side of Manhattan.
The Department of Education (DOE) has announced two other pieces of very encouraging news. After months of work being stalled, demolition and construction is scheduled to begin on the PS 59 building on Second Avenue during the week of January 4th. This gives the DOE a 32-month construction window before the school is supposed to re-open in the fall of 2012. I remain somewhat skeptical that the deadline will be met, but the fact that work is finally scheduled to begin is a huge step forward.
The DOE also announced that they are officially purchasing the MEETH facility on 63rd Street. They are scheduled to close on that purchase during the week of January 4th as well. Purchasing this currently leased space will ensure that the site remains DOE property permanently.
Lastly, the DOE has heard the community’s opposition to their proposed rezoning of the East Side loud and clear. At last night’s Community Education Council (CEC) meeting, the DOE proposed two alternatives to their original PS 158 mega-school plan. One proposal calls for the formation of a new elementary school that would be incubated in PS 158 for a few years before moving to a permanent home in the MEETH building. The other new proposal calls for two separate elementary schools to be housed permanently in the PS 158 building. As before, the CEC has the authority to approve or reject any rezoning in our neighborhood.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THESE PROPOSALS. Please email me at email@example.com
to share your thoughts and copy the CEC at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We are both keeping track of the community’s ideas and concerns. The CEC will also be hosting a public hearing in early January. I’ll keep you posted on the details of that as soon as I know them.