New York, NY – Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler and advocates announced a major victory for neighborhood school children and parents. The officials announced that a purchase agreement has been signed for the purchase of 75 Morton Street in West Village for use of school space. The New York City Department of Education will also begin Site Selection, which is the public review process that the City must complete in order to site a new city facility.
The New York City School Construction Authority and the State of New York reached the agreement over the future of the seven-story commercial building on Morton Street, which is now on track to become a new school, delivering much needed additional educational capacity.
The announcement comes more than four years after residents and elected officials spearheaded a campaign for a new school in West Village. The campaign was a result of growing concerns regarding overcrowding and space limitations in many of Lower Manhattan’s schools.
The City has come to terms on the $40 million purchase for the Morton Street property, which is occupied by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The building has approximately 177,000 square feet of space, includes an auditorium and has access to elevators.
“Each and every child in New York City should be poised to receive an invigorating and rewarding educational experience as they grow,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Walcott, President Grillo as well as Governor Cuomo and his staff for coming to an agreement. Additionally, I want to thank my colleagues Assembly Member Deborah Glick, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer who have been tireless advocates for this. I am proud to have worked with them as well as community leaders in bringing this longstanding community goal to fruition. With the purchase agreement signed and site selection moving forward we are taking much needed steps to reducing overcrowding and bring much needed educational capacity to the Village. I am thrilled that an agreement has been reached to ensure that all children will be placed in the best possible learning environment to achieve success.”
“I am thrilled that we are one step closer to having a school at 75 Morton Street, said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. This contract is a sure sign of the finalization of the State sale, and City purchase of the building. When I first identified this excess State building as a potential school, I never thought it would take so long. Speaker Quinn and Senator Hoylman have been wonderful allies, fighting to ensure that our community gets the long awaited public school at this location. This is a perfect example of a community effort which includes, parents and advocates, and the good results we can get when we are all united for the same great cause. “
“The purchase agreement and commencement of site selection brings us another step closer to a new school at 75 Morton Street, which is desperately needed to relieve classroom overcrowding on the West Side,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “This is an example of what grassroots activism can accomplish. I’m proud of parents, CB2 and CEC2, in conjunction with my government colleagues, for their work to make this school a reality.”
“The City’s official commitment to purchase the property at 75 Morton Street is an exciting milestone in the years-long effort to establish a neighborhood public school in this space,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “I applaud the hard work and cooperation of the engaged neighbors, local elected officials, and Community Board 2 members who have collaborated in this effort thus far, and I look forward to continuing to work with all involved to see this project through.”
“The completion of a purchase agreement for the 75 Morton Street site is long-awaited step toward meeting the serious need for school seats in the West Village,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “This important progress toward a new school is the product of years of collaboration and hard work by area residents, elected officials and Community Board 2. I look forward to continuing to work together to make this school a reality.”
“This has been a model of community, elected officials and government agencies working together to create the framework for a new middle school in Greenwich Village, said Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair David Gruber. From the amazing and tireless CB2/CEC 75 Morton Task Force and the 75 Morton Envisioning Group, to the unwavering commitment of our elected officials at both the State and City level, to the active participation of the School Construction Authority – we have seen proof positive that progress can be made when there is common will and determination. We have now a foundation and the opportunity to use all of these efforts and great ideas to move forward in the planning process for our new school.”
“I have vivid memories of the past five years, said 75 Morton Task Force Chair Keen Berger. “It began with parents spotting sites for desperately needed “rooms to learn”. Then Assembly Member Glick spied a “for sale” list – the state had put 75 Morton up for sale. Then years of rallies, many community groups, hundreds of parents, all our local leaders standing united. We all chanted “just imagine” louder and louder as the years rolled by. Our old vision is not just shimmering, it is real, with a new vision — hundreds of public school children streaming into 75 Morton.”
“This is such wonderful news, but we know that there is still a lot of work to be done. We want to ensure that 75 Morton becomes all that parents, administrators and community members have envisioned AND that it happens in the timeliest manner possible. I look forward to our continued partnership with CB2 and the elected officials in making this happen, said Community Education Council District 2 President Shino Tanikawa.”