DOE downsizes Union Square school to speed up approval

October 31, 2011 01:53PM

The Department of Education’s decision to eliminate about 150 seats in a forthcoming Union Square school was made to push forward construction for the contested school and avoid delays posed by angry residents of a neighboring co-op, according to DNAinfo.

The DOE has been working to build a middle school and high school with 868 seats at 10 East 15th Street, but residents of the neighboring Victoria co-op, at 7 East 14th Street, complained about the noise and crowds the school would bring to their block. Rather than face litigation from the residents, the DOE and School Construction Authority chose to compromise in order to move quickly on the school, which it said is necessary to alleviate crowding in the district’s other schools.

Members of local Community Board 5 are upset with the compromise, DNAinfo reported, as they don’t want to see a much-needed facility downsized merely to appease residents of one building. They want the downsizing decision reversed.

“This is Union Square. This is not Greenwich Village. This is not suburbia,” said one board member.

But the DOE’s desperation for another school necessitated it bowing to neighbors’ demands. [DNAinfo]