Monday, February 14, 2011


Notes on Public Hearing
about proposed PS-IS at 701 Caton Avenue
Meeting held 2/9/11

by June Reich
Chairperson of the Education Committee of Community Board 7

This was the first step in the process of building a new pre-K thru 8th grade (PS-IS) school at 701 Caton Avenue and the adjoining lots on East 7th Street and Kermit Place (aka 42 Kermit Place).

The School Construction Authority (SCA) described their process in broad terms. They have just begun Phase I, the pre-schematic phase (no plans developed yet), which begins the public review process:
  • 45-day process beginning with public notice in New York Post
  • notice posted January 21, 2011
  • 30 days to hold a public hearing (hearing was held February 9, 2011)
  • Individual comments can be submitted through March 7 (see below)
Phase I includes public hearings with the Department of City Planning and the City Council. Until the site is approved the SCA does not control the property.

Phase II is the schematic or design phase. Design development takes approximately one year. There will be briefings during the design process.

Minimal details were offered about the proposed school:
  • Funded for 750-seat PS-IS
  • Site is approximately 39,000 sq. ft.
  • Planning for approximately 20,000 sq. ft. building
  • There is a program of requirements for PS-IS, including labs, etc.
Questions and concerns from the community board and neighbors who attended (not in any particular order):
  • Zoning: 701 Caton Avenue is zoned R6A; the lot on East 7th Street/Kermit Place is zoned R5B (this property was the subject of a 2nd public hearing that evening). The lots are owned by separate individuals.
    SCA tries to adhere to current zoning but does not have to—it can go over the designated zoning if the design of the school warrants it.
  • Traffic/safety: Caton Avenue is a major truck route; East 7th and East 8th
    Streets and Kermit Place are small streets. Concerns about traffic and safety of students on and around Caton Avenue; concerns about drop-off/pick-up. DOT will do traffic studies. SCA said it has backed away from sites where public safety is a problem.
  • Environmental: former factory site; appropriate tests will be done and reports will be made available.
  • Parking: will there be parking for teachers? What will be the impact of the school for parking in the neighborhood?
  • Outdoor space: Playgrounds are not mandated but desired.
  • Community space: possibility that there could be community use of school for neighborhood.
Councilman Brad Lander attended the meeting and spoke about some other issues:
  • Demographic need for PS-IS in district
  • Residents are enthusiastic; concerns must also be taken into account
  • School zoning questions
  • Relationship to PS 130
Community Board 7 meets Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 6:30 pm. As chair of the Education Committee, I would like to propose a resolution that supports the SCA proposed site with neighbors’ concerns addressed (zoning, safety, traffic, etc.).

June Reich

Here is the text of the Notice of Filing.


Pursuant to [section] 1731 of the New York City School Construction Authority Act, notice has been filed for the proposed site selection of Block 5321, Lots 44, 64 and 73, and any other property in the immediate vicinity which may be necessary for the proposed project, located in the Borough of Brooklyn, for the development of a new, approximately 750-seat primary/intermediate school facility in Community School District No. 15.

The proposed site contains a total of approximately 39,000 square feet (0.9 acres) of lot area, and consists of three privately owned and vacant lots. It is bounded by Kermit Place to the north, Caton Avenue to the south, East 8thth Street to the west. Under the proposed project, the New York City School Construction Authority would acquire all of the lots comprising the site and construct the proposed new public school facility. Street to the east and East 7

Site plans and a summary thereof for the proposed action are available at:

New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, New York 11101

Attention: Ross J. Holden

Comments on the proposed action are to be sent to the New York City School Construction Authority at the above address and will be accepted until March 7, 2011.

For publication in the New York Post and the City Record on Friday, January 21, 2011.