The Real Deal New York

HighMark gets special permit to build Red Hook private school

But some area residents angered by pricey tuition, planned curriculum, industrial job losses

March 25, 2014 05:50PM

From left: HighMark chief executive Glenn Hileman and a rendering of Basis Independent Brooklyn

From left: HighMark chief executive Glenn Hileman and a rendering of Basis Independent Brooklyn

The Board of Standards and Appeals granted school developer HighMark a special permit Tuesday, clearing the way for a planned private school on a Red Hook industrial site.

Basis Independent Brooklyn plans to enroll 1,000 students for the upcoming academic year at the currently vacant 556 Columbia Street, DNAinfo reported.

Some residents of Red Hook oppose Basis’ arrival, arguing that low to medium-income families in the neighborhood won’t be able to swing the roughly $23,500 a year in tuition the school will charge. Critics of the pricey middle school have also said that the planned curriculum, with an emphasis on technology and science, would be too stressful for students, according to previous reports.

Riled neighbors are also worried that the exception could cost industrial jobs, and that traffic will get more congested in the area surrounding the new five-story building, DNAinfo reported.

The school must now apply for permits from the Department of Buildings to start construction of the 89,556-square-foot structure, set to begin in three weeks. [DNAinfo]Angela Hunt

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