Declaring Victory for Our Schools and Continuing Fight for Community Engagement
On June 13, I submitted comments at a public hearing concerning the New York City Education Construction Fund’s (ECF) plan to solicit proposals to redevelop the current sites of P.S. 191 and P.S. 199 as residential towers with new school facilities. The hearing, organized by the Save Our Schools Coalition and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, gave community members the opportunity to hear from experts about the potential implications of the redevelopment plan, as well as a platform from which to voice their own opinions. Since the community learned of the ECF proposal, I had been fighting alongside other elected officials, CB7, members of both school communities, and the Lincoln Square Community Coalition to ensure robust community engagement before the anticipated release of any Request for Proposals. On June 14, I was pleased to learn that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and ECF rescinded their plan for the schools and will not move forward with any such redevelopment on the Upper West Side. While we celebrate this victory, I will continue to work to secure passage in the next legislative session of the bill I sponsor which would require that any disposition of school property by the DOE be subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.