Board 11 takes on full plate

A school co-location plan. A parking garage proposal. An influx of graffiti in Morris Park.

Those are some issues Community Board 11 intends to tackle when they re-convene this month following a three-month summer break.

The board covers Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Allerton and Van Nest, with an active group of members belonging to several civic groups.

Members will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 26th at 1200 Van Nest Ave. for their full general board meeting, with plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed co-location of the Icahn Charter High School with Pelham Gardens Middle School and JHS 144 Michelangelo.

The merger at 2545 Gunther Ave. would be effective in the 2014-2015 school year should the Panel for Educational Policy vote in favor of it on Oct. 15th.

Roughly 40-50 ninth graders from the Icahn system will join the District 11 school, where most Icahn charter schools preside. The city Education Department will add another grade each year until it reaches capacity during the 2017-18 school year.

By the time the 2023-2024 school year arrives, the DOE projects the total student population to be 600-640 students.

“My board members are concerned,” said Jeremy Warneke, District Manager for Community Board 11, arguing the plan could spark tensions between upper and lower classes. A co-location often involves different schools sharing a building’s auditorium, gymnasium and cafeteria.

Separately, another proposal under review by the Land Use Committee is a plan to build a four-floor garage with roof parking at The Hutchinson Metro Center. Because developers look to build rooftop parking, they had to come before the committee, set to meet with a representative of the developer on Sept. 18th.

The garage comes as the 40-acre facility expands, welcoming a Marriott Residence Inn, Montefiore Medical Center outpatient hospital, and 911 Call Center.

Scrawls of graffiti at 1200 Morris Park Ave. will also be reviewed by CB11 brass. The issue, tied to a legal battle, stems from graffiti tags publicly visible yet inaccessible to clean up unless it gets permission from the42-acre lot owner next door.

Graffiti has been much of a constant nuisance within Pelham Parkway, mainly the Lydig Avenue business corridor where taggers operate mostly during the late evening hours when stores in the bustling neighborhood close.

Fresh scrawls can also be seen along the White Plains Road Business Improvement District, with no cameras set up along the commercial strip.

Community boards function as advisory forums, issuing recommendations on projects.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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