The battle for increased school capacity has been waged by parents for several years now, many of whom won’t be the beneficiaries of the new schools. Though most ultimately were unscathed by the controversy, inasmuch as their child eventually received a seat in PS78, the uncertainty was unsettling, and may have motivated others to move out or not move to LIC in the first place. Also, in the question-mark that is truncation, it was a factor in prompting some recent middle school parents to opt for the new middle school instead of sticking it out at 78.
In viewing the current situation, I can’t help but think that for every action there is at first a delayed response, and then inevitably an overreaction. Since it’s been primarily parents along the waterfront who have been demanding schools now, that is where the schools have been going. Yet any chess player can see that the next big need is closer to Court Square. The powers that be completely screwed up in not insisting a school be placed in the base of 5Pointz. In addition to being extremely well-situated to accommodate children from all parts of LIC, it would have been available in time for the school year beginning in 2018. Instead the community received baubles in return for granting the developers a zoning variance allowing them to build an additional 28 stories.
The words above were written here in LICtalk almost two years ago. They are especially prescient given the specifics surrounding the current battle for seating capacity/location in local elementary schools.
Even prior to their scripting, we had always argued that the 5Pointz zoning variance was a misguided giveaway and a wasted opportunity. While the school issue is today’s hot topic, and I think will be resolved to the satisfaction of most, it’s crucial to not let the momentum slip and squander another obvious opportunity as we did with the 5Pointz variance. The demand and placement of a Rec Center in the Plaxall rezoning request is optimal given the central location and the minimal “give-up” or cost to the developer (aka it’s closest to where most people live in Hunters Point live today, and even a decade from now, it is far superior to the Water’s Edge site and Parcel C in HPS II – which is also a logistical mess and largely set in stone).
Five years from now school seats will be a distant memory (if not in five months). Nevertheless while the Rec Center will probably never draw near-suicidal ire, it’s omission will be a huge invisible mistake in the neighborhood for decades to come – especially since the Plaxall rezoning is such a perfect and probably final opportunity. So please consider channeling the energy of #LICUnited to the next cause célèbre. Because as we have learned, it’s essential to get ahead of the issue before a decision is handed down. Also I’d much rather be remembered as a visionary than a Cassandra.
10-18 47th Avenue Comes to Market – this little piggy went to market “at an eye-popping $2,850,000”
Will The Above Sell? – see the listing
Permits Filed For 9-Story Residential Across From 5Pointz – 158 rental units expected
Mexican Restaurant To Open at Former Re Pub LIC site – on 50th Ave just off Vernon
Long Island City Bidding to Become City’s Life Sciences Hub – hubba-hubba!
Laser Lines in Long Island City – new tennis venue especially for kids