NYU’s empty promise for new Greenwich Village school?

Site intended for school may revert to NYU if DOE misses deadline.

Rendering of NYU's planned expansion
Rendering of NYU's planned expansion

New York University’s $6 billion expansion in Greenwich Village may be taking another controversial turn: The Department of Education has yet to green light funding for a new public school on Bleeker Street that the university promised the community as part of its development plan.

The DOE has until Dec. 31 to approve the funding for the seven-story school. After that, the university could reclaim the site for its own use, DNAinfo reported. The agency’s 2015-2019 capital plan has no money allocated for the school, but if the DOE does decide it’s a necessity for the neighborhood, an amendment to the plan could make the funds available.

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Under the original agreement with NYU, the DOE has until 2025 to commit to the new school, but City Council member Margaret Chin fast-tracked the deadline “to make sure this space would start serving the community as soon as possible, rather than allowing NYU to let it sit vacant for up to another decade,” according to the news site. Now Chin, the DOE and the local community board are asking NYU to extend the deadline. So far the University has refused, saying that it does not want to revise its current plans amid ongoing litigation concerning their expansion.

If the deadline passes and no extension is granted, NYU would be required to turn over just 25,000 square feet in the building to the community — an 85-percent reduction in the square footage that had originally been allotted to the community for the school. [DNAinfo] — Heather Grossmann