State Senator says DOE should give up its office for school space

November 23, 2011 01:59PM

One State Senator has an idea as to how the city can combat overcrowded schools in Lower Manhattan: convert the Department of Education’s own office space.

In response to the DOE’s recently released re-zoning plan for schools downtown, State Senator Daniel Squadron has suggested that the city open new schools in space it already owns or leases, such as the Tweed Courthouse, at 52 Chambers Street, instead of shuffling kids from school to school. He made the remarks in a strongly worded letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, DNAinfo reported today. The historic building currently holds DOE offices and some classrooms.

“Since the Tweed Courthouse already meets the complex criteria for [the site of] a public school, DOE could consider increasing the number of classrooms in the Tweed Courthouse building and relocating offices to another office facility,” Squadron said in the letter, according to DNAinfo.

Recently the city purchased One Peck Slip, a post office site, for $13.5 million, with plans to build a much-needed school for Lower Manhattan. [DNAinfo]