Use Public Land to Build an Elementary School in Court Square, LIC Today!

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Rebecca Barnes
Rebecca Barnes signed this petition

Since 2016-17, the Court Square Civic Association (CSCA) has been working with the City and others, in particular the School Construction Authority (SCA) on building a new School in Court Square LIC to accommodate exploding population growth.


Presently no school exists in the neighborhood, despite unprecedented residential development with many young families moving in, and discovering a lack of nearby school seats. Since 2017, the SCA has been actively looking for a site to build a new school with funds already earmarked in the budget with previous petitions proposing certain locations.


In April of 2019, CSCA held a LIC Education Panel with the SCA expressing significant challenges on finding and negotiating a site in Court Square, which has been the same answer the community has been given since the last CSCA Education Panel in early 2018, over a year ago.


Representatives from the SCA and DOE did attend an Education Panel meeting hosted by CSCA on Feb. 15, 2018 and announced that they were actively looking for a new school site in the area since the money for construction has been allocated.

   Source: https://qns.com/story/2018/03/12/long-island-city-residents-calling-city-turn-site-elementary-school/


Councilman Van Bramer has called for the SCA to act with greater urgency and explore eminent domain which would be an expensive proposition given the legal costs as well as rising land-prices in Court Square which the City would pay full market rate for.


At the LIC Educational Panel, the SCA cited they are proactively looking at an existing City-owned Municipal Garage at 45-40 Ct Square W, Long Island City, NY 11101 for the new UPK-5th School Site.


This petition requests the City move forward today in utilizing existing Public land for a school site for the greater benefit of the community. Significant tax payer revenue would be saved given the need to no longer negotiate with a private owner - and or move forward with the expensive process of eminent domain. Furthermore, as the garage is torn down and a new building constructed, all of SCA building design requirements would be inherently met, one of the stated challenges in locating an appropriate site.


The proposed location is centrally located in Court Square next to one of the few green spaces in the area, Court Square Park, and has an existing early Childhood Education Center nearby and major residential buildings.


Existing users of the municipal lot have multiple other options within a one block radius, and other transit options also exist nearby.


In addition to the SCA committing to 45-40 Ct Square West for the new School Site, this petition also respectfully requests the Department of Education maintain and keep the “Incubation Site” on 27-35 Jackson Ave for the new Court Square School as PS384 vacates in 2021. Given the existing investments and classrooms already built out, it makes sense to keep that building as the “Incubation Site” as the new Court Square School is being built, rather than a separate site outside the neighborhood.  

As parents and concerned community members, we ask that you sign if you support these two requests to keep the Incubation Site on 27-35 Jackson Ave and request the SCA to build a new School on existing City-owned property at 45-40 Ct Square W, site into a permanent, zoned Pre-K – 5th Grade public Elementary School.  

As mentioned, the construction would be financed with funds already earmarked in the budget for in Long Island City, and tax-payers would be saved significant dollars as a large portion of the budget would not have to be spent on purchasing private land and/or on the expensive process of eminent domain.


This petition is part of ongoing effort and previous petitions which nearly ~1,200 individuals signed, thank you for continuing to support these efforts as we make sure the City upholds its commitments for a new School now, and the community and parents are not in the same place again a year from now.