By Madina Toure
City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has decided the city Department of Education will no longer be placing a high school inside its building at 30-48 Linden Place after significant community opposition to the proposal, elected officials and community leaders said Friday.
After receiving confirmation in July from DOE staff that the site would be used for a high school for more than 450 students, City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) met with Farina to express his opposition to the proposal due to student safety and traffic congestion concerns.
Koo made the announcement at a news conference in front of the building Friday afternoon, along with state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing); Arlene Fleishman, president of the Mitchell-Linden Civic Association; and Chuck Apelian, first vice chairman of Community Board 7.
“Maybe the chancellor realized this is not a good place to put a high school,” Koo said.
At the meeting, Fariña told Koo the plans to build a high school would no longer go forward. Koo’s office received written confirmation from DOE staff.
The letter states, “Planning for the site is still fluid at the moment, but it will likely be a mixed use building that includes some instructional programs which may serve high school-aged students.”
The building is currently occupied by School District 25’s administrative offices and an Alternative Learning program.
Stavisky noted that there are already two public schools on 31st Road—PS 214 and PS 242—and that Linden Place is narrow. She criticized the DOE for previously stating it does not have to go through the public engagement process since it owns the building.
“That is the wrong attitude and I’m glad they reversed their decision,” she said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour