Proposed school on Eastchester Road taken off the list bye SCA

A proposed school to be placed in the parking lot behind the Aging in America building on Eastchester road has been taken off the list of possible sites.
Photo by Kirsten Sanchez

They fought the school, and they won.

A parking lot serving two Morris Park charter schools will stay that way – and not be filled in with a new public school.

Community Board 11, which opposed the plan by the city’s School Construction Authority, got the good word at its monthly meeting Thursday, April 26.

The SCA wanted to fill-in the lot with a 379-seat public school, on the north side of Rhinelander Avenue between Eastchester Road and Stillwell Avenue.

But at an SCA presentation to the board in March, members expressed several concerns, including added congestion in an already overly congested area, lack of parking, and longer emergency response time because of congested streets.

Board member Edith Blitzer said she is thrilled the parking lot is off the list of possible school sites.

“It’s a charter school in there and it is not a place for a Board of Education school to be placed,” she said. “The traffic is bad enough without more buses coming and going.”

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who advised the SCA he opposed the project, said “Not going forth is the right course of action,”

“Although the idea of opening a new school in my district sounded like a good one, we knew from the start that this location was not the right place,” he said. “The area is heavily congested at all times of the day and it would have been difficult for emergency vehicles to navigate through the area during school and rush hours.”

Senator Jeff Klein noted in a letter to construction authority CEO Lorraine Grillo that it would “take away the existing parking facility that the incoming charter school at this location was scheduled to use.”

“This will remove all parking available to the proposed schools, which are projected to host 392 students at the Icahn Charter Schools, and then 379 students at your proposed school.” Klein wrote. “This would result in a combined 771 students total, whose parents, faculty and visitors will need a place to station their vehicles to access the school.”

While the site, behind the Aging in America building on the Pelham Parkway service road, has been pulled, the SCA said it also will look at the former St. Dominick’s school at 1684 White Plains Road as a possible site for a public school.

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