A new school may soon be coming to the area near Yankee Stadium, but many members of Bronx Community Board 4 are wary about its potential impact on traffic.
On June 6, a joint meeting of the CB4 Housing & Land Use and Youth Services & Education committees approved a letter of support, with conditions, for a Success Academy charter school. The boards stipulated that half of the students admitted must be from the Bronx and 25% of the employees must also live in the borough.
The highly charged meeting was preceded by a similar one in March where many CB4 members griped about the increased traffic the school would cause. But when push came to shove, the committees felt the school is needed.
Housing and Land Use Committee Chairman Jackson Strong said with a growing population in the Bronx a new school is critical to the area.
“I unequivocally support this school,” Strong said. “This is incredibly important for our community, district and the Bronx. There is no perfect location to put a large school in NYC, but this is probably one of the best that exists because there is an abundance of transportation that’s next to this facility. I live a few blocks away from it and quite frankly, I can’t wait to see this school.”
The proposed school will reside in the Grand Concourse section of the Bronx and have two addresses — 586 River Ave. and 101 E. 150th St. Success Academy charter schools first filed plans in March to construct a 6-story, K-12 school on a 300,000-square-foot lot located roughly five minutes from Yankee Stadium. The facility, which would open for the 2025-2026 school year, and serve 2,400 kids.
According to Cathleen Sims, head of policy and external affairs at Success Academy, 80% of the student body will be from the Bronx.
In an area zoned for manufacturing, the property requires approval from the city Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). Currently, there is a storage facility at the site, which would be demolished, and a small school, the New York City Children’s Center that provides mental health services, which would be relocated to pave the way for the Success’ new school.
Success Academy currently operates eight schools in the Bronx, and 47 total schools throughout New York City. If this school is granted approval by the city, it would be Success’s second full high school in NYC.
“We have an urgent need for space,” said Alan Washington, executive operations and real estate at Success Academy.
Washington said since presenting to CB4 in March, Success Academy has done traffic studies to address the concerns and met with the city Department of Transportation commissioner about the issue.
However, many board members still expressed concerns that a new school would cause more traffic on an already congested roadway. Board members Frances Hudson-Morrow and Marie McCullough were among those who voiced frustrations with the proposed project.
With Yankee Stadium nearby, traffic from the Gateway Mall and the 149th Street subway station, Hudson-Morrow said the school will make the crowded area worse.
“I don’t feel reassured even though they’ve done a lot of research and spoke to people,” McCullough said.
The application for a special permit to construct the school was filed with the BSA on May 11 and is currently under staff review. Once comments are issued and responses are received, the BSA can consider calendaring the matter.
Reach Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (646) 899-8058. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes