City Moves Forward with Eminent Domain for New CIA School

The School Construction Authority has begun proceedings to take control of a lot on Coney Island Avenue through eminent domain, where it will build the new PS/IS 338K, a 757-seat school that would be in Community School District 22, which includes most of the Ditmas Park area. They’re bringing it to court at the end of the month, and according to the most recent Five-Year Capital Plan from the Department of Education, construction on the school is expected to begin as soon as next summer, and be completed by the winter of 2016.

The address of the school is tentatively 510 Coney Island Ave, between Turner and Hinckley. It looks like the things currently standing on the lots that are in the eminent domain proposal are the lot on the corner of Hinckely that is usually full of parked cars and vans, an auto repair shop with a rickety sign–has anyone seen that open lately?–a used car lot on the corner of Turner, and the long-abandoned, free-standing house on Turner, including the adjacent lot.

Plans for the school from Purcell Architects show a five-story building set back from CIA, with play areas set behind the building.

As of last year, three schools in our area in District 22–PS 139, 217, and 315–were over capacity, according to the New York City Department of Education’s 2010-2011 capacity report.

In November 2010, Community Board 12 (being on the west side of CIA, this is in CB12) voted unanimously against supporting the construction of this new school.

As more families move into the neighborhood, it seems clear that more seats for students are needed. So is eminent domain the way to go about filling that need? And what do you think about this location for a new school?

Images via The City RecordGoogle Maps, and Purcell Architects.

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  1. That corner is U-G-L-Y right now, I think a school could be a great way
    to jumpstart some non-auto repair businesses on that part of CIA. I
    wonder about a school on such a busy street, but then there’s that other
    PS by Foster on CIA that’s long established. I imagine there will be
    crossing gurads, etc.

  2. Not a great site for a school, but it;s an empty lot and at least it’s not displacing any businesses. Very few empty lots in the community unless you count the stalled construction of condos.

  3. Does anyone know why the Community Board voted unanimously against supporting the construction of the new school? I didn’t see any reasons given in this piece.

  4. Why bother to ask us what we think about it? The whole point of eminent domain is that the city/state is going to do what it wants regardless of what anyone else thinks.

  5. The larger issue is who the school will serve. The district line goes down the center of CIA. The school is being built in district 15 but distrcit 22 could use the space. The DOE may end up carving the footprint of the school into d22. The next question is how that would impact the ps139 and 217 zones as well as the kids in the rented former catholic school on Beverly. Eminent domain might be a done deal, but the parents in the area could certainly have a lot of say in how these new seats will impact the nieghborhood schools.

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