The Department of Education has decided to ax a plan to move Cambria Heights Academy in Hollis into IS 59 in Springfield Gardens.
Frank Thomas, a spokesman for the DOE, said the decision was made last week after the agency discovered it had extra funds in its School Construction Authority and leasing budgets, and was also motivated by public outcry against the move.
“We feel this plan makes sense for the school,” Thomas said Thursday. “We always take into consideration concerns from the community.”
Parents from both schools were worried about overcrowding and mixing teenage students with elementary pupils.
Although Thomas could not say what the total surplus is, he did note that the money will be going to make sure CHA, a school geared toward integrating technology into it its curriculum, will remain where it is.
Thomas said the DOE is hammering out details with the owner of the building to sign a long-term lease, which he said, in general for DOE schools, is about 10 years.
The newly discovered city funding will help to cover the cost of rent plus go toward adding some additional amenities to the school, though he said he did not have further information on what those would be.
“It’s really good.” CHA PTA Secretary Garfield Clark said of the decision. “I felt extremely relieved. I’m happy the school is going to stay where it is. They spent so much money on technology that to move the school made no sense.”
Note: The DOE spokesman Frank Thomas initially said $10 million of the department's surplus would be allocated to CHA, a figure included in the first version of this story, but later said the amount had not yet been determined.