Possible Pre-K to replace site of old Community Board 10 office

January 6, 2016 Anna Spivak
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Call it a new lease on learning.

An old Bay Ridge building might finally be getting a long-desired revamp. Pending a site selection review, the property located at 621 86th Street—the former office of Community Board 10—could possibly become a 108-seat Pre-K, according to the board.

“We received notification from the School Construction Authority that they are looking to develop the site into a Pre-K,” explained District Manager of CB10 Josephine Beckmann. “We certainly have a need for additional Pre-K. The question is, is this an appropriate site?”

The community board’s Zoning and Land Use Committee, along with its Youth Services, Education and Libraries Committees are preparing for a January 20 meeting during which they will discuss the appropriateness of the site—which has remained unoccupied for the past seven years, despite the community board’s best efforts to re-purpose the site into a community center—for use as a Department of Education District 20 Pre-K.


“The building has been dormant for some time,” added Beckmann. “It was the CB 10 office from 1977 to February 2009 and the hope for this building has always been for a re-use of the property by a nonprofit.

“Some arts groups were interested in the space,” she went on. “It was really a hope of the community to see it developed into an arts space, but with funding [issues], we seemed to never be able to get that to happen.”

As far as the DOE’s role in the matter, an agency representative told this paper: “We are working closely with families, community members and elected officials to identify a new Pre-K location in Bay Ridge that will provide a supportive learning environment for our students.”

“We’re going to hear from the public what people think about this location for the site,” said Beckmann. “[It’s not about] whether or not we need the space, but is it an appropriate site for the Pre-K?”

The space sits at the corner of 86th Street and Gatling Place, an oft-congested corner  at the end of Bay Ridge’s 86th Street shopping strip, home to both a busy Gowanus Expressway service road and four lanes of traffic.

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