Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Community Board 6 supports middle school at Atlantic Yards site, asks to reconsider B15 location


Community Board 6 has joined several elected officials and CB 8 (but not CB 2, which said to wait) in urging that the school in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site be a middle-school, not a mixed elementary/intermediate school.

Unlike most supporters of that outcome, CB 6 expressed more of a warning about the location, currently planned for B15, a 27-story tower between Dean and Pacific streets just east of Sixth Avenue, very close to not only the Barclays Center but also a police station and fire station.

In a letter to the School Construction Authority dated yesterday, CB 6 Chair Gary Reilly wrote:
I am writing to advise you that at our July 28, 2015 meeting our Executive Committee adopted a resolution on behalf of the full Community Board, by a unanimous vote, to support Brooklyn Community Board 8’s recent letter dated June 12, 2015 regarding the pending school construction related to the Atlantic Yards Development Project (aka Pacific Park).
The boundaries of Brooklyn Community Board 6 primarily overlap Community School District 15 but also include a portion in Community District 13, which gives us some perspective on the differences between the two districts. In District 15 there are a number of larger and well-regarded middle schools including MS 447, New Voices, MS 51, and MS 88, these latter two being free-standing middle schools. We have heard often from CB6 parents located in District 13 who wonder why there is such a stark difference between the District 13 and District 15 middle school portfolio.
A dearth of high quality middle schools in District 13 also poses a challenge for the principals of District 15 elementary schools. One crucial driver of overcrowding in the District 15 elementary schools in CB6 is students from District 13 and other nearby districts who wish to secure seats in one of the many District 15 middle school programs.
Given these factors we join CB8, as well as CEC13 and many local elected officials, in calling for the placement of a middle school in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park development. As well we urge the SCA to reconsider the location of that school to one with safer access unhindered by future construction and further removed from the Barclay Center. In the event that the school location remains at B15, we would then urge the SCA and DOE to take every measure to provide for adequate safety for students traveling to the school given the proximity of the firehouse, police station and arena itself.

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