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JOHANN HAMILTON 

Bayside residents are not happy with a recent proposal to place a school in their neighborhood.

Dozens of community members gathered on the corner of 48th Avenue and 210th Street, where the Department of Education (DOE) has proposed placing a 416-seat primary school. The new school, about a half-mile away from P.S. 31, would replace Keil Brothers Garden Center and Nursery. However, State Senator Tony Avella, Assemblymember Nily Rozic and local residents are up in arms over the idea.

“We’re here to express our outrage at the board for trying to push this through without consulting us,” said Avella. “They tried to make this happen before the community could get properly organized, and the DOE has also refused to allow a representative from Community Board 11 to attend the meeting where they’ll be discussing it.”

The opponents contend that placing the proposed school between the backyards of several residential homes would drastically increase traffic congestion, noise levels and parking problems. They also say property value in the area would see a significant decrease.

“This is wrong and out of character for this community,” said Rozic. “Just because it’s the summer doesn’t mean we’re not here and don’t want to talk about what goes on in our community.”

Although the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses was scheduled to hold a public hearing about the proposal, it has since been rescheduled for next month. Residents hope they will be able to voice their strong opposition then.

“It is simply disgraceful to not include the community board,” said Avella. “We’re going to push back against this and tell the DOE that this does not work for us.”

 

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