Generally Speaking: School at Nathan’s site won’t open until 2024

December 29, 2020 Theodore W. General
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Residents near the old Nathan’s restaurant on 86th Street have been asking what’s going on at the long-vacated fast-food site. Passersby still see the old building standing and virtually no activity. If you recall, the property was bought by a real estate developer for $12.25 million and then flipped to the School Construction Authority for $25 million in June 2019.  

The School Construction Authority announced plans to build a five-story school for grades 6 to 8 to accommodate 550 students and have designated it as IS 332K. Thus far, they have only erected a chain-link fence around the site. The derelict building has become a neighborhood eyesore.

A recent joint meeting of Community Board 10’s Zoning and Land Use and Youth Services, Education and Libraries committees, chaired by Doris Cruz and Anthony Marino respectively, was held via Zoom. The SCA gave a design presentation on the proposed new school. The session was led by Steve Gonzalez, SCA’s project support Manager for South Brooklyn and Staten Island, along with a team from its architecture and engineering department. 

The school site encompasses  20,000 square feet and stretches from Battery Avenue, along the south side of 86th Street, then extending onto a portion of Seventh Avenue across from the Dyker Beach Golf Course. Among the assets of the new building will be 18 classrooms, two special ed classrooms, science labs, music and art rooms, a combination gym and auditorium with a stage, medical suites, outdoor and indoor bicycle racks, and solar panels on the roof. Additionally, a large outdoor playground is part of the project.  There will be no parking for teachers or staff.

No date for the groundbreaking has been announced, but Gonzalez stated the school won’t be ready for occupancy until September 2024.  Historical records reveal it only took one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building – once the world’s tallest building.

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We’d like to take this opportunity to wish a blessed, merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. 

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