April 22nd, 2011
(Photo rendering of Dumbo middle school)
Two Trees Management, the developer of the proposed mixed-use Dock Street Dumbo building in Dumbo, Brooklyn, today announced the completion of an agreement with the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) for the creation of a new, 300-seat public middle school at Dock Street Dumbo. This is a requirement for there to be a public school on this site. According to a press release, the “signed agreement legally formalizes the commitment made by Two Trees to area families, residents and elected officials during the land use approval process that the project would include the approx. 45,000 square foot school and that the developer would donate the cost of the construction of the school’s core and shell”.
In June 2009, City Council made the decision to approve the rezoning of the development project on Dock Street (between Front and Water Street) in Dumbo. The Dock Street project has been controversial when oppostion uncovered evidence of the School Construction Authority’s alleged corruption and argued that the 17 story building design was not contexual to its surroundings and will overshadow the Brooklyn Bridge. The press release references a pending lawsuit: “A construction schedule for Dock Street Dumbo has not yet been formalized, pending the resolution of a potential legal appeal. While a lawsuit by two Dumbo residents against the project was dismissed in October 2010 by a State Supreme Court judge, the plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal and it unclear at this point whether they plan to follow up with the filing of the actual appeal.”
The McBrooklyn blog notes that the agreement has long been approved and budgeted for by the SCA, so why is this announced now? Is it related to the letter-writing campaign and petition started by P.S. 8′s PTA to extend their school through the 8th grade?
“Principal Seth Phillips is about a week away from turning in the required paperwork and support for a P.S. 8 middle school is building in the community.
Could this be the SCA’s way of killing P.S. 8′s expansion plans?
If so, SCA is wrong. P.S. 8 alone holds more than 500 kids. The Dock Street middle school — if it is ever built (note lawsuit appeals have not yet been heard) — would serve 300 kids coming from all over District 13. About 20 schools would be feeding into Dock Street middle school, not just P.S. 8.
Meanwhile, P.S. 8 kids have nowhere to go after they leave elementary school. It’s time for a P.S. 8 middle school.
Brooklyn Heights Blog notes that Two Trees hopes to “break ground at Dock Street by spring of 2012 and to have the school ready for use by the school year beginning in 2014.”