Forest City Ratner’s 75-story project to contain public school

Lower Manhattan to get 630- seat primary/intermediate school. The City Council unanimously approved the New York School Construction Authority’s proposal for a new 100,000-square-foot primary/ intermediate school to be located within Forest City Ratner’s proposed residential development on a site at Beekman, Gold, Spruce and Nassau Streets in lower Manhattan. Currently, the 44,532- square-foot site contains a privately- owned surface parking lot, which Forest City will replace with its 75-story condominium and rental apartment building.

The City will hold a condominium interest in the first five floors of Forest City Ratner’s building, which will accommodate a 630-seat school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in Community School District No. 2. The proposed design will meet all of the Department of Education’s standard requirements, including an interior gym and full-size cafeteria.

Community Board 1 approved the proposal at its March 21, 2006 meeting, stressing the acute need for a new facility to lessen overcrowding at P.S. 234 and to meet anticipated demand from the 15,600 new housing units nearing completion in lower Manhattan.

Greg Shaw, a School Construction Authority attorney, outlined the proposal before the Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses. At the hearing, Council Member Leroy Comrie questioned Shaw on whether two additional floors could remain vacant allowing for the potential future expansion of the school. Comrie noted that Ratner’s proposed development and other contemplated residential construction in lower Manhattan would increase school seat demand. Shaw indicated that an expansion option would not be possible.

The Subcommittee, Land Use Committee and the full Council approved the proposal on June 29th.

Council: School Construction, Beekman School (June 29, 2006). CITYADMIN

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