Park Slope

School Crowding Addressed As Plans Advance For 180-Student Pre-K Center In Gowanus

Future sight of Gowanus Pre-K Center
Proposed future site of Gowanus Pre-K Center on 9th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. (Photo via Google Maps)

On November 3, Council Member Brad Lander announced that plans have moved forward to build a Pre-K center for approximately 180 four-year-olds.

Proposed by the NYC School Construction Authority, the school would be built on a currently vacant lot near the American Legion post (193 9th Street) on 9th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

The proposed school is part of an effort to avoid overcrowding in School District 15, which is an area booming with new residential construction.

“This new, 180-seat Pre-K center on 9th Street will be a real ‘win/win’ for families in Park Slope, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, and throughout District 15. It will both offer a convenient, high-quality option for four-year-olds, and help to reduce overcrowding in our neighborhood schools,” said Council Member Brad Lander in a statement.

“Thanks to the NYC School Construction Authority for their creative approach, turning a vacant lot that wasn’t large enough for a full elementary school into a Pre-K center. Along with the recently-announced 436-seat addition to PS 32, this new school helps to advance the goals of our ‘Bridging Gowanus‘ neighborhood planning framework by building the infrastructure we need to sustain our growing communities.”

Lorraine Grillo, president and CEO of the SCA, believes the plan would synchronize with Mayor de Blasio’s UPK initiative. “Because of this bold and innovative project, we were able to reevaluate previous sites that now can be a beacon for bringing Pre-K education throughout the City,” said Grillo in a statement.

According to the SCA’s notice of filing, the search for alternative site spanned a variety of areas. Other potential sites included 521-39 4th Avenue, 177 25th Street, 560-588 Degraw Street, 563-73 Sackett Street, and 4002 Fort Hamilton Parkway.

One potential issue that may come into play has to do with the history of the site. DNAinfo reported that the “SCA wants to build the new facility on an empty lot that some believe is a burial spot for the Maryland 400, the storied group of Revolutionary War soldiers who held off British forces while George Washington retreated in the pivotal Battle of Brooklyn.”

Council Member Lander’s office announced that “the SCA will continue to accept public comments on the proposal until December 13, 2015.”

Comments should be submitted to:
New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, New York 11101
Attention: Ross J. Holden

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