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Thursday, March 10, 2011

New DOE Construction Plan Could Ease Crowding

Editor's note: this article was first published in the Norwood News, which is out on streets now. 

By Layza Garcia

The Department of Education’s revised five-year plan for school construction includes an increase of more than 1,600 new seats within School District 10 in the northwest Bronx. But it is yet to be determined where the remaining seats will go.

District 10 is the most overcrowded in the city. A report by the City Comptroller’s office last September said that primary schools in the area operate at 112 percent of capacity, while intermediate schools are at 103 percent.

Marvin Shelton, president of the district’s Community Education Council, said he is glad that the DOE is recognizing the desperate need for new school space in the community.

According to the plan, District 10 will get a total of 2,897 class seats over the next five years, Shelton said.

In the last Capital Plan of 2005-2009, there were 2,520 seats to be created in District 10 and only 1,765 of those seats were sited.  There were 755 seats that were unaccounted for that were then carried over to the 2010-2014 plan.

Among the projects is the construction of the new school PS/IS 177 on Webster Avenue, which going to hold 640 seats. It is expected to be completed in September 2014.

The School Construction Authority (SCA), which manages the design, construction, and renovation of the city’s public schools, creates a proposed Capital Plan every five years for new developments in school construction. Every year they amend it, based on need.

The most recent revisions to the plan include a request for additional funding for various projects, including $8.8 billion for 50,000 new classroom seats in an estimated 87 buildings citywide. The DOE said it hopes the new additions will accommodate the city’s growing student body, alleviate overcrowding, and reduce class size as well as the number of temporary classrooms.

The SCA has also requested $7.4 billion to improve already existing school facilities.

The plan is up for approval in June or July, according to DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld.

1 comment:

  1. There is a huge problem with this reporting...it is NOT true. The monies which were allocated, were taken off to balance this year's budget. So, there is no capital funding for the 50,000 seats which were identified.


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