Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Pre-k proposal subject of two hearings

January 19, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The proposed site has raised concerns because of its location next to the 86th Street exit of the Gowanus Expressway. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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A proposal by the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) to open a pre-kindergarten center in the former offices of Community Board 10 has raised concerns for Bay Ridge educational leaders because of the location’s closeness to the Gowanus Expressway.

The plan, which involves renovating the two-story building at 621 86th St. to accommodate a 108-seat pre-K school, will be the subject of two separate public hearings on Jan. 20.

The building is located next to the 86th Street exit of the Gowanus Expressway. Community Board 10, which had its offices in the building for decades, moved out of the space and into new offices at 8119 Fifth Ave. in 2009.

The Community Education Council (CEC) of School District 20 will hold a public hearing at P.S./I.S. 104, 9115 Fifth Ave., starting at 6:30 p.m.

CEC President Laurie Windsor said she sees problems down the road if the SCA moves forward with the proposal. “Personally, I hate that location! How can we even consider this with that block as the exit ramp from the expressway?” she asked the Brooklyn Eagle via email last week.

Windsor told the Eagle that said the CEC will likely take a vote on the merits of the proposal after the public hearing.

On the same night as the CEC hearing, the proposal will also be the subject of a public hearing to be held jointly by two Community Board 10 committees: Zoning and Land Use; and Youth Services, Education and Libraries. The hearing will take place at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1305 86th St., starting at 7 p.m.

The proposed pre-K site is located on the corner of 86th Street and Gatling Place, next to the Gowanus Expressway exit. The exit is a particularly busy one at all times of the day, according to Bay Ridge community leaders.

“We are hearing from people who have concerns over traffic and safety,” said Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann. “We encourage anyone who has a concern to come to our hearing.”

But a Board 10 member who spoke to the Eagle on Jan. 18 felt that the hearings may be a waste of time. “I think the SCA is going to move ahead with this plan no matter what anyone says,” the board member said.

For more information on the public hearings, call Community Board 10 at 718-745-6827 or the CEC at 718-759-3921.

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