The Mayor’s Office announced the public review period for the construction of a new 1,000 seat school in East New York. On January 3, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by City Council Member Rafael Espinal, announced the start of the public review process for a new 1,000 seat school in the East New York section of Brooklyn. The proposed school comes as part of the larger East New York Neighborhood Plan which was adopted by the City Council in April 2016.
The Neighborhood Plan is a multi-agency coordinated initiative to promote the development of affordable housing, economic growth, pedestrian-friendly streets and community resources in East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill. The Plan would include the construction of thousands of housing units, and a City investment of $267 million in the area.
The new school will be built on a portion of the City-owned Dinsmore-Chesnut site, which is currently vacant. The school would serve children from Pre-Kindergarten through the 8th grade, and would feature science labs and art and music rooms. A large outdoor playground will also be constructed and would be open to the public after school hours.
“A school is so much more than a building full of classrooms,” said City Council Member Rafael Espinal. “It is where our youth spend the majority of their waking hours learning valuable lessons of community, respect and friendship.”
A new housing development, to be built adjacent to the school, is currently in the planning stages. In December 2016 the City issued a request for proposals to develop the remainder of the City-owned Dinsmore-Chesnut site. The City asked for proposals for an environmentally-friendly, mixed-use affordable housing development to contain as many as 200 homes for extremely low-income families.
The public review process for the new school includes a 45-day public comment period. Brooklyn Community Board 5 and Community Education Council District 19 also have the opportunity to hold public hearings. The deadline for public comments is February 17.
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).