Wednesday, July 02, 2008

School Daze: Rumor Edition

The saga continues.  Sort of.  As I mentioned recently, The Boy's prospective Kindergarten (PS 89) faces severe overcrowding next year and the years to follow, and this space squeeze has triggered a fair amount of interest and activism in our neighborhood.  The Manhattan Borough President, Scott M. Stringer, has come down to hear grievances, and possible solutions have been tossed around.

In my last School Daze post, I recounted the proposal that trailers be brought in to house all those extra five-year-olds.  At the time I wondered where they would put the things, given the hyper-development that's occurred around here over the past few years.  Still, better to have trailers than to have lessons in the stairwells.

Well, rumor has it that trailers won't be arriving anytime soon.  According to a friend of ours from the building (and someone who's pretty active in this school fight), PS 89 can't bring in trailers because they're too expensive given the short-term needs.  So in other words, the City doesn't really consider trailers a short-term solution, but neither are they long-term, obviously.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but perhaps the City needs to flex a little more institutional muscle.  An ugly high rise just across the West Side Highway from us was allowed to exist on the condition that it dedicate space to an annex for PS 234, the other highly regarded elementary school down by us (and also bursting at its proverbial seams, even with this addition).  Why not demand that the building going up across the street from PS 89 house similar space?  No doubt contracts have already been signed and whatnot, but the City could offer further incentives (carrot) or deny permits (stick) to make that happen.  Or perhaps they could commandeer the new public library branch going into a luxury condo building directly across from ours.  For recess they could fall out the door and across the street to the large playground.

In any event, we're back where we were:  We now hear that the industrious folks at PS 89 have managed to find enough corners for the incoming 6 classes of Kindergartners, but they have no idea what to do with the following year's kids and those who'll continue on.

Anyone got any good ideas?  The City sure doesn't seem to have any.

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