View Full Version : Manhattan-Downtown Negotiations for NYC downtown's Peck Slip school in final, urgent stages

02-18-2011, 09:52 AM
This from Downtown Express (http://downtownexpress.com/de_408/negotiations.html) by Aline Reynolds:
Downtown parents are eagerly awaiting news concerning a proposal to open a 400-seat elementary school at the Peck Slip post office building in the Financial District. Whether its good news or bad news is yet to be determined.

Elizabeth Rose, director of portfolio planning for the city’s Department of Education, said the School Construction Authority has not yet finalized its exclusive negotiations with the U.S. Postal Service for acquisition of the site.

“There’s absolutely a sense of urgency,” Rose told members of the School Overcrowding Task Force at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office last Thursday. She said the S.C.A. is in daily correspondence with the U.S.P.S., though she wouldn’t say when the two parties would seal the deal.

In the meantime, the S.C.A. has been given access to the building to conduct environmental tests and other standard inspections, which Rose says will expedite the process when an agreement is reached.

P.S.#234 parent Tricia Joyce and other task force members are nonetheless concerned that such new residential developments in Downtown could outpace new school construction.

She and the other task force members were disappointed to hear that Spruce Street School (P.S. 397) will not open sixth grade next fall in Beekman Street tower, as they had hoped.

When questioned about it, Rose replied sternly, “We’ve gone over this before. It just doesn’t make sense. We have middle school seats in the area, and it’s difficult financially.”

But some task force members didn’t buy into this reasoning.

“The entire [D.O.E.] policy is geared towards creating new schools,” said Leonie Hamson, executive director of Class Size Matters. “They have plenty of money to burn when it’s what they want to do; but when the community wants to, they are suddenly broke. They are completely hypocritical.”

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