Brooklyns building boom is standing in the way of the citys plan to open more schools. So said a rep for the School Construction Authority (SCA) as he explained the process of building new schools to parents. Fred Maley, the SCAs community relations manager, told attendees at a meeting of District 22s Community Education Council (CEC) that the city was forced to abandon some school construction projects because it lacked sufficient funding. He said thats because construction companies are in such demand to build new condos and homes that they are asking for inflated fees to build new schools, which the city simply cant afford. We had to reevaluate some of the projects, Maley said. If they were too much over our estimate, we couldnt move forward. As a result, There are new schools coming but there are not as many as we would have liked, he continued. Maley noted that the $13.1 billion in city and state funding that is being used to build new schools and pay for repairs to existing ones cant cover all necessary construction projects. It sounds like a lot, he said of the billions but when theres 1,400 schools in New York City, theres not enough to go around. When deciding where to build new schools, the SCA and city Department of Education (DOE) are also taking into account projections about population changes in the five boroughs. Officials believe that the number of school-aged children in the city peaked two years ago and will now start to decline, meaning that the city can build fewer new schools than what was originally deemed necessary. Its based on population trends that we project out, Maley said of decisions about where to build new schools. There will not be as many new schools needed as was projected two years ago. But that assertion was surprising to locals at the CEC meeting who said the boroughs housing boom and the Atlantic Yards project should increase Brooklyns population. That does seem to defy logic, said CEC President Christopher Spinelli. Theyre knocking down one-family houses and putting up condos
I dont know that were going to have less students as we go forward. Maley said that the expected decline in the number of city schoolchildren could be attributed to baby boomers kids going off to college. In District 22, four new schools are planned. Three of the schools are already under construction. They are a new home for P.S. 245, 2222 Church Avenue, at Holy Innocents School on East 17th Street, the conversion of Our Lady of Refuge Schools Ocean Avenue building into a public school, and the expansion of P.S. 207 from 4011 Fillmore Avenue to St. Thomas Aquinas School, 1501 Hendrickson Street. According to the latest amendment of the capital plan, which is located online at source.nyc
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