Council approves two new high schools

Each school to accommodate over 1,600 students. On May 25, 2005, the City Council approved the New York City School Construction Authority’s proposals for the construction of two new schools: a high school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and an intermediate and high school facility in Heartland Village, Staten Island. Student occupancy of both schools is expected to begin in September of 2008.

Sunset Park High School will be located at 932 4th Avenue and 156 34th Street on the block bounded by 34th Street to the north, 4th Avenue to the east, 35th Street to the south and 3rd Avenue to the west, and will adjoin the John D’Emic Park. The 48,000-square-foot site currently contains one and two-story buildings used as industrial warehouses. These buildings will be acquired by the School Construction Authority and replaced with a five-story, 191,000-square-foot building that will serve about 1,640 students.

The new high school will relieve overcrowding at Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton High School, which, during the 2003-2004 year, operated at 162 percent of capacity. As part of the proposed project, the School Construction Authority intends to reverse the direction of traffic on 34th and 35th Streets between 3rd and 4th Avenues to facilitate the drop-off and pick-up of students.

Staten Island’s I.S./H.S. 43 will be located on the west side of Essex Drive on 13 acres of vacant, undeveloped land bounded by Westport Street, Essex Drive, Devon Loop/Elmwood Park Drive and by property occupied by P.S. 58, located at 77 Marsh Avenue. The City acquired the site in the 1970’s for school purposes. The proposed four-story, 195,000-square-foot facility will accommodate one intermediate school and two high schools with a combined capacity of 1,652 seats. To facilitate access to the school, the School Construction Authority plans to acquire a privately- owned and undeveloped segment of Westport Street.

At the Land Use Committee meeting on May 19, 2005, Chair Melinda Katz spoke on behalf of Council Member Sara Gonzalez, conveying her support for the new school in her Brooklyn district and noting it was 35 years in the making. Staten Island Council Member James S. Oddo also spoke in favor of his district’s new school. The full Council approved both new schools onMay 25, 2005.

Approval Process: Sunset Park High School: The School Construction Authority, as lead agency, issued a final environmental impact statement on May 2, 2005. On April 28, 2004, Brooklyn’s Community Board 7 held a public hearing and recommended approval. The Planning Commission also recommended approval.

I.S./H.S. 43: The School Construction Authority, as lead agency, issued a final environmental impact statement on May 2, 2005. Staten Island’s Community Board 2 held a public hearing on February 2, 2005 and recommended approval, issuing some recommendations. The Planning Commission recommended approval.

Council: Sunset Park High School (May 25, 2005); Council: I.S./H.S. 43 (May 25, 2005). CITYADMIN

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