Pre-school for 93rd Street gets thumbs-up from CB 10

The proposal to build a pre-school on 93rd Street down the block from the Prince Hotel is moving forward, as Community Board 10 has voted to support the project, based on a list of conditions that board members hope will ease community concerns.

Board members cast their votes in favor of the pre-school siting at the March 16 general meeting at the Norwegian Christian Home in Dyker Heights, subject to three conditions. These include “Immediate and constant rigorous enforcement” by the city “to eradicate any illegal conditions and uses and any illegal activity which have been persistent at the nearby Prince Hotel and in its vicinity.”

In addition, the board voted to make its support of the pre-school contingent upon the School Construction Authority submitting to it “traffic and pedestrian safety studies addressing neighborhood concerns.”

Finally, the board based its approval of the project on being kept in the loop during the design development portion, “in order that the community board can offer meaningful input regarding building design.”

At a public hearing held late in February on the proposal, approximately 50 people showed up – despite inclement weather – to express their concerns about crime, violence and illegal activity at and in the vicinity of the Prince Hotel, which has dozens of open Department of Buildings violations, as well as pedestrian and traffic safety on the block, which is narrow and congested.

The site, 369 93rd Street, is currently occupied by a one-story medical facility. If the project goes forward, that building would be replaced by a three-story structure with eight classrooms and room for 144 students.

The rationale for building the pre-school in the first place is the extreme overcrowding in School District 20, in which the site is located. While the district had been granted 4,000 pre-k seats, based on the expansion of pre-k programs across the city, finding suitable sites is difficult in neighborhoods that are heavily built up, as Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sunset Park, Boro Park and Bensonhurst all are.

The board’s vote is advisory only.

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