Councilmember Espinal, Mayor de Blasio Celebrate New Public School in East New York

Councilmember Espinal, Mayor de Blasio Celebrate New Public School in East New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Council Member Rafael Espinal and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams break ground on a new school facility in East New York (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

EAST NEW YORK – Breaking ground on a new public school in East New York yesterday, Mayor de Blasio and local Councilmember Rafael Espinal reminded those gathered of “Promises Made, Promises Kept.”

It was a hard message to miss—what with the giant sign behind them—but it was an important one: part of the deal made in the East New York Community Plan, which provided a plan for rezoning the neighborhood, included a new school.

After the 2016 rezoning, which paves the way for big changes in East New York, many are wary of the effects of gentrification, even with $270 million in improvements promised to the community. A new school was a major part of that promise.

By 2020, the community will have one, to the tune of 1,000 seats for students from Pre-K to the Eighth Grade, who will have access to brand new science labs, art and music education, and a rooftop greenhouse.

An East New York native, Councilmember Espinal referred to the moment as one of his “proudest days” on the City Council. As a tireless advocate for urban agriculture, he’s particularly excited about the 1,000 square foot greenhouse, too:

While the ceremony was called a groundbreaking, with the foundation already poured, it was more of a metaphor—but surely those gathered are happy for the (literal) concrete progress already being made.

Mayor de Blasio spoke to the long wait—nearly 25 years—for a new school in a community that had been “left behind” by the city. With the interest of developers in East New York, the Mayor defended rezoning as a way to ensure residents are included and protected as changes come to neighborhoods.

The full remarks from speakers at the  ceremony can be seen in a tweet from the Mayor’s office:

The school, located at 3269 Atlantic Avenue, will open for the 2020-2021 school year.

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