Joel I. Klein
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
President and CEO
Empire State Development Corporation
30 South Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12207
Dear Chancellor Klein and Ms. Lago:
As you are aware, the Greenwich Village-based Public School Parent Advocacy Committee, Manhattan Community Board 2, and I along with other local elected officials have been advocating for the conversion of 75 Morton Street into a much needed public middle school. I appreciate the interest in making this a reality expressed by both the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) after ESDC issued a Request for Proposals for the sale of the building.
While ESDC’s decision to reverse course and retain 75 Morton Street for its current use has ruled out the near-term sale of the building to DOE, I remain optimistic that a middle school can yet be sited there. For example, it has been suggested that DOE might be able to lease space there even as the Metro NY Developmental Disabilities Services Office remains the primary tenant.
Overcrowding continues to plague our public schools and creative solutions must be explored. I am hopeful that negotiations and discussions will continue between ESDC and DOE and I would be happy to personally coordinate those discussions if you feel it would be helpful. We must continue to work together along with my colleagues, parent advocates and community leaders to ensure that there is sufficient school space to provide quality education to our students today and in the future.
Please feel free to contact me at 212-633-8052 if you have any questions or concerns. If I am unavailable or if you wish to schedule a meeting, please ask for Crystal Gold-Pond, my Legislative Aide who has been working with me on this issue.
Thank you for your consideration.
Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senate