The city Department of Child Administrative Services (DCAS) is moving its Bronx-based ACS staff in Morris Park to the Bay Plaza Shopping Center in the Co-Op City section, in an effort to secure more office space and better serve its clientele in the borough.
The DCAS made a bid to the city Planning Division to acquire 37,500 square feet of office space on the first and second floors at 2100 Bartow Ave. in July, and a DCAS spokesperson told the Bronx Times, the decision could allow ACS Administration for Children’s Services (ACDS) to procure “separate entrances, efficient space layout and proximity to Administration of Children’s Services Division of Child Protection (ACSDCP) client populations.”
The ACS, which is currently located at 974 Morris Park Ave., had their request approved by city planning.
According to planning documents, the proposed 2100 Bartow Ave. property will be appropriately renovated for cost-effective operations by the agency, and will be built out to include a layout and furniture plan that is closely aligned with the agency’s “current best practices.”
DCAS touted the heightened accessibility of 2100 Bartow Ave. for its clients, as there are numerous bus routes and proximity to the 5 and 6 trains along the Gun Hill Road and Pelham Bay Park stations.
The proposed location is not in a regional business district, however. The proposed site’s location is within an M1-1/C4-3 zoning district, which permits office uses as-of-right.
The DCAS has also selected city-owned property in the Fordham section of the Bronx for a new computer-based testing and application center (CTAC), to facilitate more opportunities for a wider number of local candidates applying for city jobs.
The property, the second floor of the Fordham Library building, is expected to be converted into a space “that would provide employment information, training, and computer-based testing services for Civil Service exams that would serve Bronx residents.”
The CTAC entrance to the building would be located on Marion Avenue. The ground floor and mezzanine of the building would be reserved for future use that is expected to provide community services for Bronx residents. The entrance to this future use would be located on the “Bainbridge Avenue side of the building.”
Currently located on Arthur Avenue, a relocation of the CTAC to the Old Fordham Library location is expected to double the annual number of applicants served by the center in the Bronx, according to DCAS staff.
The Arthur Avenue location, which comprises 5,100 square feet of surface area, currently accommodates 40 workstations, facilitating 1,900 test-takers per month.
The 10,000-square-foot, second-floor Fordham Library space would double the capacity of workstations to 80, increasing the number of monthly available test slots to 3,800.
In 2008, the city turned the old library over to the city’s Health Department, which was mandated to turn it into a full-service animal shelter. That mandate was dropped in 2011 by the City Council, and the agency had been using the facility for administrative and storage purposes, according to city documents.
Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes.