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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

So, when will the project's middle-school arrive? Though developer claims ignorance and Empire State Development is silent, SCA (still) projects March 2025.

This is the sixth of ten articles on the 6/7/22 meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation. The first concerned the affordable housing timetable. The second assessed an estimated 2031 completion date. The third addressed the impact of a potential Greenland default. The fourth concerned expectations of 421-a benefits. The fifth concerned the deadline for the Urban Room. The seventh concerned plans for the platform. The eighth discussed community impacts of construction. The ninth concerned plans for B12/B12 affordable housing. The tenth concerned the Open Meetings Law.

So, 662 Pacific Street, aka B15, is open and its market-rate units fully-leased (though no word on leasing of income-targeted "affordable" units).

The only additional construction, said Scott Solish of Greenland USA, is the buildout of the planned school, "being done by the SCA," or School Construction Authority. (The school's address likely will be 491 Dean Street.)

Director Daniel Kummer, who was serving as Acting Chair for the meeting, interjected, "When is the school projected to be ready?"

"I don't have an updated schedule from them," responded Solish. 

"But it's not for the coming school year," affirmed Kummer, who apparently hadn't walked by to see that, well, no work on the school had started.

"It won't be for the coming school year," Solish confirmed, in a bit of an understatement.

The Brodsky Organization, which built the tower, built the school's core and shell and turned it over "to the SCA and they're working on the buildout of the actual school facilities themselves," he said. "So they have not given me a final date of when they could be open. Because you know, they don't open schools in the middle of a school year."

When will it open?

Director Gib Veconi interjected. "Sorry to interrupt, but I believe it was last carried on the SCA's capital schedule as September of 2024."

According to the latest update, from February 2022, to the SCA/Department of Education Five-Year Capital Plan, the school, known as I.S. 653, is due in March 2025. That implies a September 2025 opening. (Here's the overall page for updates.)

If Solish didn't know better--it's of course in his interest to be fuzzily informed about a public commitment that has been delayed--why couldn't Empire State Development, the parent of the AY CDC, simply have pinned it down?

After all, the exchange was a reprise of a discussion at last December's AY CDC meeting, in which Solish claimed ignorance of the timeline. Afterward, I reported that the SCA's capital plan said March 2025.

Construction starts in July

Also, though Solish said the School Construction Authority was "working on the buildout," that does not mean they're actively constructing the building. According to the capital plan, construction should start in July.

An 3/31/22 SCA document, which tracks quarterly status of projects in process, indicates that construction of I.S. 653 is PNS, or Phase Not Started.

How many students?

Director Drew Gabriel asked about the expected number of students.

Solish responded, "I believe it's six or seven hundred student capacity and it's going to be a middle-school. And that's determined by the Department of Education."
While the school was once projected at 616 seats, the capacity has since been augmented to 812 or 825 seats or--as the current document suggests--806 seats.