2006-12-14 / Top Stories

School Officials Make Offers On Construction Site

By Dara Mormile

An official from the School Con-struction Authority (SCA) last week offered to negotiate with residents expected to lose ten feet of their property during the construction of a school at the site of the former Can-arsie Community Yeshiva building on East 107 and East 108 Streets between Flatlands Avenue and Avenue J.

“If you need to rent a parking or storage space during the time of the construction, we will compensate you fully,” said SCA representative Fred Maley in speaking at last week’s South Canarsie Civic Association (SCCA) meeting, held at the Hebrew Educa-tional Society.

One resident said, “We don’t have parking facilities in the neighborhood. If we have to park our cars more than a couple of blocks away from our homes, are you going to pay for the cab to take us back and forth to get our vehicles?”

Another resident said, “You’re asking us to uproot ourselves for your convenience. This is ridiculous.”

Maley also said that the SCA needs to know which residents will be signing a license agreement, which outlines the legal ramifications of the construction, scheduled to begin in Jan-uary of next year.

“If you do not sign the agreement, we will have to take you to court, in which case we will obtain access granted to us by the city,” said Maley. “Or, you can get a lawyer and oppose the compensation we are offering. We’re coming onto your property for your safety and so that you’re safe during the two to three years we’re going to be working.”

Residents argued that they do not want the school on their block altogether, but Maley told them that the primary discussion about the project took place and was resolved two years ago at a Community Board 18 meeting when the Department of Education recognized the need for another school in the community.

Members of the Community Board were upset when they learned that the owner of the yeshiva planned to sell the property to the Department of Edu-cation without notifying the community, which he was not obligated to do.

SCCA president Mary Anne Sallus-tro said most residents on the block were not aware that the former Yeshiva building would be knocked down

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when the project was originally proposed.

“A lot of people thought that the school would be kept as it is and not be rebuilt to a four or five floor building,” she said.

Maley said keeping the school as it is would not be efficient since it will consist of pre-k through eighth grade.

Although residents expected City Councilman Charles Barron to be a guest at last week’s SCCA meeting to discuss the construction of a new public school, his representative Kevin McCall said the councilman had not been aware of the gathering. However, Sallustro said she talked to Barron last Tuesday and he said he will meet with members of her civic group on Monday, December 18 at 7 p.m. at the HES. The public is invited.

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