School will not benefit Maspeth

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D−Middle Village) was incorrect when she stated that the city School Construction Authority cleans up all contamination on its sites before building schools. If she had read and examined the environmental impact statement for the proposed Maspeth high school, she would understand that on−site toxins would remain, with their vapors posing a potential danger to students who attend the school.

An expensive venting system will be required to pump these vapors from the ground up to the roof, along with an expensive monitoring system to ensure that the air inside the school remains safe. If Crowley had done any research, she would be aware that these systems have a history of failure.

Crowley claims that, at her behest, the size of the school was cut back to 1,100 seats from 1,650. But she was not yet in office when Community Board 5 members requested a reduction in the number of seats at public hearings. The city Department of Education removed the middle school portion of the plan when it realized that IS 73, a few blocks away, was operating below capacity.

Getting the school priority zoned for District 24 children is a hollow victory because this will be a themed school of unknown specialty, meaning that not only will local children have to be interested in whatever theme is eventually chosen, but their grades will have to be above average in order for them to be accepted. This will do nothing to relieve overcrowding at Newtown and Grover Cleveland high schools, which are general education schools.

In addition, Crowley has told at least one newspaper that she will work to get more buses on Grand Avenue to alleviate additional overcrowding on the Q58, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is doing nothing but cutting service. The additional traffic is expected to turn an already bad traffic situation into complete gridlock.

Tony Nunziato


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