Under the dark of night a RFEI (Request for Expression of Interest) was issued on three properties in Manhattan. All three are current school locations. The plan is to see if any developers are interested in leasing the property from the NYCDOE to create more luxury high rises.
Our school, The Museum Magnet School/PS 191, is one of those sites.
We say NO! MMS/PS191 is located on West 61st Street and Amsterdam Avenue. We are surrounded by high rises on three sides and the Amsterdam houses on the other. Our community is saying ENOUGH! We do not want any more high rises in the community to take away our light, air, and space. BUT MOSTLY, we do NOT want our school to be torn down.
A school is the heart of a community! Our community will be irreparably hurt by this proposed redevelopment if it should occur. It is no easy task to move an entire school and its staff to another location, no matter where it should be. We have worked so hard in the school and local community to make our school what it is today.
In the past few years we have, with the help of Gale Brewer and others, gotten a new yard, our auditorium updated, and a Million dollar Magnet grant that has provided so much new technology. Is it ok to throw away tax payer money like this?
“They,” the powers that be behind this, keep saying the new development will have a new school for us to move back into. We don’t trust them. Why?
- RFEIs should be general documents. If people are interested you go to RFP (Request for Proposal) which is much more detailed. This RFEI is very specific- square footage, driveway placement, etc. Doesn’t say what happens in the meantime. Doesn’t say the replacement school will be the same size.
- The developer is responsible for relocation – not the DOE. They don’t say anything about moving in the zone—DOE says they are only going to do 1 project. Why does it say you can bid on one of three? RFEI says you can do this without the uniform land use process.
- DOE says we will not be split up- but developer is over-seeing the relocation so are they making sure of that?
The DOE is making promises but is not giving anything in writing. We are told that we have a say, but the RFEI says it can skip that process. SO we are having a say now.