As you have heard, the New York City Department of Education has recently issued a RFEI [available at this URL: goo.gl/hxG7b] that is of concern to our community. The Department of Education (DOE) is seeking proposals from real estate developers to tear down as many as three public schools, PS 199, just across West End and a short way down 70th Street from us, PS 191, on 61st Street, and the School for Cooperative Technical Education in the Upper East Side.
Board member Jeffrey Allister recently attended a meeting arranged for Lincoln Towers and neighboring residential buildings, held in our Community Room and attended by various of our elected officials in person or represented by staff.
It appears that the DOE intends to sell one, two, or all three of the schools to developers under the condition that the developer include space for a replacement school facility in each large luxury apartment building that may be built on the current site of the school.
In the absence of details, the board is concerned that this proposal has been floated without involving the local community in any significant way and views the potential disruption of PS 199 with concern.
Community Board 7, responsible for our area, has taken an active role in engaging formally with the Department of Education and the Education Construction Fund on this proposal and has written strongly worded letters, available on the CB7 website (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb7/html/home/home.shtml). Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has also written to the DoE, as has Council Member Gale Brewer.
The CB7 site posts a letter from DoE Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm in which DoE and ECF commit to “working with the school community, local elected, officials, and community boards as the process moves forward.”
Shareholder Roberta Semer serves on Community Board 7 and welcomes your email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your active engagement with this issue.
The 205 board is monitoring this situation as closely as an organization with no formal standing in the process can. We encourage shareholders to inform themselves by reviewing relevant primary materials and news reports. If something significant comes your way, we encourage you to send an email to email@example.com to alert us.