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EXCLUSIVE: New elementary school to be built on Third Avenue

BAY RIDGE — District 20 is getting a new elementary school, a local lawmaker revealed.

Councilmember Justin Brannan told the Home Reporter that the New York City School Construction Authority plans to build a 330-seat elementary school, at 6740 Third Ave. in Bay Ridge.

The SCA will be holding a public hearing in conjunction with Community Board 10 at some point within the next few months, according to Brannan, who worked with the agency to hunt for sites for a new school.

District 20 covers schools in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Sunset Park and Flatbush. The district is among the most overcrowded in the city, according to local officials, who told the Home Reporter earlier this year that there is a shortfall of nearly 11,000 seats. 

“District 20 is indisputably one of the best school districts in the entire city. It is also the largest school district in all of Brooklyn and one of the most overcrowded in the entire city, so building new schools here is a big priority for me.  I wake up just about every day thinking about where we can build more public schools. Today, I am proud to announce that, after working closely with the School Construction Authority, we have identified another location for a brand new elementary school here in Bay Ridge,” Brannan said in an email to this newspaper.

Brannan, a Democrat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of  Bensonhurst, called the new school “a big win for our community” and said it was also a big victory for “our kids who deserve nothing less than a world-class public education from day one.”

The site at 6740 Third Ave. is located in the northern end of Bay Ridge.

The elementary school would be the second school slated to be constructed in the near future in District 20.

In February, it was announced that the SCA will be building a 550-seat middle school at 650 86th St., the former site of a Nathan’s Famous drive-through restaurant. 

Adele Doyle, president of the Community Education Council of School District 20, said the CEC is pleased the district will be getting a new elementary school and is looking to schedule a public hearing in November to discuss the plans. 

“We are very excited to have another elementary school site in the works in District 20,” Doyle told the Home Reporter.

And more new schools might be coming, Doyle hinted.

“Slowly but surely over the next five years we expect to chip away at the severe overcrowding in District 20 with additional sites expected in the works,” she said.

District 20 students are high achievers, despite the fact that the schools are overcrowded. Doyle said.

“We are one of the highest achieving districts in the city despite being one of the most overcrowded and with a 78 percent poverty rate,” Doyle said. “However it is difficult for our students to thrive with limited class space. And we credit our superintendent, dedicated teachers and the families of this district for making the best of difficult circumstances.”

Brannan, meanwhile, said he would continue to work with the SCA and the New York City Department of Education to identify potential sites for new schools in District 20. It was a vow he made when he first ran for his City Council seat in 2017, he said.

“During the campaign, we didn’t make many promises but we did promise to break ground on at least one new school in my first four years. This will be number two,” Brannan said.

Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick.

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