By David Solano
At the Community Board 11 meeting on Sept. 8, it was announced by CB11 that they received a call informing them that the contract for the purchase of the Bayside Jewish Center had been signed by the School Construction Authority.
Also, as the community was not aware of, it was announced that the city Department of Education’s Panel for Educational Policy allocated $114 million for the purchase of the new school. As the expression goes, the train has left the station, look for it to pass the community by as they take the steps to put a school here.
This shows that they have not respected us by informing us of their actions/steps along the way. It was also stated that our District 19 Councilman, Paul Vallone was not previously informed, although this has not been officially confirmed.
As I spoke to the community, I reiterated that we as a community need to be diligent and, if necessary, vigilant and hold the SCA/DOE accountable and show that we count! We should be informed ahead of time of their intentions. They have some mandatory steps along the way as part of the process, such as the Traffic Study, to see the current traffic and determine if the additional traffic/congestion will cause any safety issues. We need to be briefed on the process and steps and be involved in the process as observers, rather than read about their studies after the fact.
No. I do not trust the SCA, as they have removed any thread of trust by acting on their own without any regard for us. Please continue to inform the CB 11 office and Councilman Vallone of your concerns on this new high school.
To remind you, it was in June that Friends of Bayside High School provided an initial 3,200 petitions (that grew to over 3,500) signed by residents, parents and students who live and/or attend school in Bayside, expressing opposition to any proposed construction of a school or annex on the site of the Bayside Jewish Center (32nd Avenue between 203rd and 204th streets).