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Queens Chronicle

‘Put children first,’ says angry Holden

Carranza refusal to move ailing school stirs councilman backlash

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am

City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) blasted Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza this week for refusing to move a school for special-needs children out of a dilapidated building in the middle of the industrial district in Maspeth.

“I’m tired of playing politics with people who refuse to put the children first,” Holden said in a statement released after Carranza said he would hold fast to plans to rehabilitate the century-old school building on 57th Street, just off Grand Avenue.

Holden made the future of the school for learning-disabled students something of a personal crusade after touring it last year with parents and with Council Education Committee Chairman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn).

The school, he discovered, was not wheelchair-accessible, had only one bathroom per floor that had to be used alternately by boys and girls and a gym that had been partitioned to create the cafeteria.

A $16 million rehab is underway but will take five years to complete, SCA officials said.

“These children cannot be subjected to even more suffering while Chancellor Carranza and School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo continue pouring our tax dollars into this lost-cause building,” said Holden. “No matter what is done to the building itself, it will always be surrounded by increasing truck traffic that presents a constant danger to students, parents and staff,” he said.

“If these vulnerable children are going to be subjected to another five years or more of construction in the building, then we need to find another space for them immediately,” he said.

Carranza sent Holden a letter Aug. 9 that outlined the Department of Education’s plan for the school, in essence informing him the school would stay put.

When it was built at the turn of the 20th century, PS 9’s neighborhood was still largely residential.

Now it is located in the midst of the specially designated Maspeth Industrial Business Zone.

Holden said the site might be better suited as a new home for the 104th Precinct, now located on Catalpa Avenue in Ridgewood.

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1 comment:

  • Buster57 posted at 5:45 pm on Thu, Aug 15, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    Rent the space to Eva Moskowitz!