By Charlene Carlies

On Thursday, New York City Councilmembers held a public hearing on a proposal to approve the construction of a new, approximately 676-seat primary school facility on property located in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is Dyker Heights.

Four members of the New York City Council were present: Adrienne Adams, Mark Treyger, Peter A. Koo, and I. Daneek Miller. They are members of the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses, of which Adams is the chair.

Credit: Councilmember Adams’ website.

The hearing was held to vote on the selection of the above site. Adams read a statement from council member Carlos Menchaca, who represents that district (which includes the Gowanus neighborhood). In his statement, Menchaca said that many the schools in the district are overcrowded. This new school would improve access to good education for the community’s young residents, proponents maintained.

However, there were some concerns raised by the local Community Board, number 10. Community Boards have a say in the zoning and building proposals affecting their respective areas. Community Board 10 said it is concerned that:

  1. Regarding bus congestion, there are many traffic issues for those living in the community, specifically overnight bus parking in existing schools;
  2. There should be a driveway to be included into the school design, to alleviate congestion during school drop-offs and pick-ups.
  3. The proposed school sits on a site adjacent to the historic Angel Guardian home, which is considered by many residents of Dyker Heights to be an “architectural gem.”
  4. There should be adequate open space as part of the design for the school.

The Angel Guardian Home in Dyker Heights. Credit: Credit: Mercyfirst, Creative Commons, BY-SA 4.0

Council member Kreyger said, regarding the school, that it “is a very much needed school project,” because of the issue of overcrowding of schools in the district. “It is my understanding that the need for seats in district 20 exceeds over 10,000,” he said.