—–Original Message—–
From: “Lydon Sleeper”
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2009 10:19pm
Subject: Message from Council Member Crowley regarding the Maspeth High School


Tomorrow at 11am a New York City Council Land Use Sub-Committee meeting will discuss the plans for the Department of Education's proposed Maspeth High School. It was put on the agenda last week by the Department of Education, and our office has been fighting furiously to get the Department of Education to pull this hearing until next month to allow our community time to discuss their plans further.

I want you all to be aware of the Department of Education's plans to aggressively move forward and acquire the property for the proposed Maspeth school. I believe strongly that our community needs more seats for our high school children. However, before we move forward with building this school, we need the Department of Education to address serious concerns. I have outlined some of our concerns and thoughts below.

The DOE has ignored the concerns brought forth by the community, and has refused to dialogue with the Council Member and the community about how the new school should address the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

The current plan does not address the infrastructure and education needs of the surrounding area.

There is no priority zoning for local students. Given the neighborhood's infrastructure and the need for quality, local and accessible high schools, education it is important to prioritize the high school for students coming out of PS 58, PS 49, PS 128, PS 229 and PS 153. This will help reduce the burden on mass transportation, our community's roadways and the existing overcrowded local high schools.

We have been given no time to discuss different approaches to the use of the new school – including DOE reorganization, beacon/honors high school, etc.

There is no traffic plan to address the longstanding traffic issues of the immediate community overburdened by the two existing schools.

The IS 73 feeder schools do not come close to filling the 1,700 6th, 7th and 8th Grade seats. As a result, students from outside the feeder schools are bussed in, creating an untenable traffic situation for the surrounding community.

This neighborhood's transportation infrastructure is already overburdened with the increase in traffic caused by PS 58.

This new school, as identified in the DOE Environmental Assessment Form and Supplemental Environmental Studies Review, will add additional burdens to already over burdened local transportation arteries.

We have received no commitment from the DOE regarding any investment in capital funds to address transportation needs in the area.

Lydon Sleeper
Chief of Staff
Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley

See also: Educate yourself about the proposed Maspeth high school by Robert F. Holden from the March/April 2009 issue of the Juniper Berry.