A little more relief is on its way for Bay Ridge’s crowded schools.
The School Construction Authority is moving forward with the demolition of two existing buildings at 369 and 381 93rd Street, where a three-story Department of Education pre-kindergarten facility will be built, with a projected opening date of September, 2017.
The applications for demolition of the two structures, a medical center and a private home, were approved on July 27 by the city’s Department of Buildings.
The new school will hold eight classrooms with a total of 144 seats, according to Laurie Windsor, president of the District 20 Community Education Council, who noted that pre-k classrooms are designed to have space for “amenities” not found in classrooms for later grades, such as cubbies, a space for the kids to nap, play furniture and a sink.
“I think a really important piece of the site is that seats are needed in pre-k for that part of the district,” noted Windsor. “The whole district is bursting at the seams.”
Besides allowing children to attend pre-k potentially closer to home than they would should they be placed in a regular elementary school, said Windsor, the free-standing pre-k facilities also have the ability to “free up space in regular public schools.”
The siting of the pre-k facility on that particular block had been controversial, as the infamous Prince Hotel is down the block.
After neighbors turned out at a public hearing to voice their concerns about the proximity, Community Board 10 had voted to support the construction of the pre-k based on several conditions being met, including “rigorous enforcement” of illegal conditions and activities at the Prince Hotel, the performance of traffic and pedestrian safety studies because of worries about the narrowness and congested nature of the block, and keeping the board in the loop as design of the facility moved forward.
By press time, the DOE had not responded to a request for information.