City Inks Pact With Walentas for Middle School at Dock Street

The City’s School Construction Authority has entered into a contract with Two Trees Management Co., controlled by the Walentas family, to put a middle school in the controversial Dock Street building.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle: An indication that Two Trees Management Co. is finally moving forward with its proposed mixed-use Dock Street Dumbo development came Thursday with the announcement of a signed agreement with the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) for the creation of a new 300-seat public middle school.

The Eagle article quotes an unnamed source at Two Trees as saying the company hopes to break ground at Dock Street by spring of 2012 and to have the school ready for use by the school year beginning in 2014. Meanwhile, parents of elementary school students at P.S. 8, located in Brooklyn Heights at Hicks Street between Middagh and Poplar, who say there are no attractive middle school options for their children in the school district (District 13), are campaigning to have a middle school established nearby. The middle school at Dock Street will be open to students from elementary schools throughout District 13, and will therefore be unlikely to serve all P.S. 8 students who desire to go to a public middle school.

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  • Damn those Walentas

    The timing for this announcement is terrible for all the work that PS8 Parents have done thus far for the extension to 8th grade.

    “This school, which will serve all of the wondrously diverse neighborhoods of District 13, will be an extremely positive addition to Downtown Brooklyn,” she [Leticia James] said.

    How will this be a positive addition to Downtown Brooklyn?
    It’s in DUMBO, not downtown.
    Kids will bus there from the whole district and then bus home. They won’t be going downtown to go make economy stimulating purchases of candy bars and teen beat magazine.
    Kids that actually DO live in downtown Brooklyn are not guaranteed to be seated at this school and it will probably be the DOE’s excuse to not expand PS8.

    So screw you Walentas, James and Marty. Manipulative, ignorant fools, the lot of you.

  • nabeguy

    “The middle school at Dock Street will be open to students from elementary schools throughout District 13, and will therefore be unlikely to serve all P.S. 8 studente who desire to go to a public middle school.” Especially since it’s enrollment will be limited to 300 students. Bogus.

  • Reggie

    There are ten “pure” (grades 6-8, except for Endeavor, 5-8) intermediate schools in Community District 13 with a total November 2010 enrollment of 2,874. The average district middle school size is therefore less than 300.

    Achievement First Endeavor Middle Charter School – 318
    Fort Greene Preparatory Academy – 103
    J.H.S. 266 Park Place Community Middle School – 196
    Kappa Vll – 180
    M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds School – 908
    M.S. 571 Bergen Upper School – 169
    MS 103 Satellite III – 274
    MS 313 Satellite West – 178
    Satellite East – 240
    The Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters – 308

    Not included in my analysis are the Academy of Business and Community Development (226 students enrolled in grades 6-12), the Community Partnership Charter School (331, K-8), I.S./H.S. 265 Dr. Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts (488, 6-12), the Khalil Gibran International Academy (109, 6-12), the Leadership Prep Charter School (398, K-8) and P.S. 282 Park Slope School (1024, PK-7).


  • Heightser

    This school will be open to everyone in the district, and that is the way it should be. PS8 students can apply just like everyone else. PS8 students should not be entitled to anything more than the other elementary school kids in the District.

    That being said, I am in favor of PS8 going through 8th grade. We have no idea what the time schedule is for this. An appeal to the lawsuit could be filed. Dock Street’s opening could be many years away. We have a critical need NOW to serve the kids of PS8, and we should forge ahead with the current plan to expand the school through 8th grade.

  • PS 8 parent

    There is plenty of room in Dist. 13 for a new Dock St. school and a 6-8 extension of PS 8. Arts & Letters is no longer going to be able to take kids outside of its own school, and there are smart, high-achieving kids at PS 11, 9, and 20 who will flock to the Dock St. school.

  • Heightser

    @Nabeguy – What is bogus?

  • nabeguy

    I’ll tell you what’s bogus. The fact that the only MS schools that I’ve heard being pushed to PS 8 parents are Fort Green Prep (a uniform school, as in dress codes, feh), Ronald Edmonds (908 students, a tri-partite curriculum that doesn’t allow cross-education between disciplines) and Arts & Letters (which has now shut their doors to out-of-district applications). The others schools listed are, to be blunt, too lacking in their programs and standards to qualify them as appropriate educational links after PS 8. I’ve already made my opposition to the Dock Street proposal clear, so I won’t go over old ground. I support the current efforts of the PS 8 community to seek out other options, but the SCA has already signed the deal. And, sad to say, that’s that, given that their “authority” actually seems to supersede anything the DOE decides or wants. It’s almost as if Bob Moses was resurrected and put in charge of it.

  • lori

    When my daughter saw that PS 8 plans to extend its program thru 8th grade, she couldn’t believe it. She attended PS 8 from 1988 (K) thru 1995 (6th grade) and graduated from there, altho many of her fellow students left at the end of 5th grade to attend specialized junior highs including those in other districts. The biggest trouble the school had at the time was having a 7th and 8th grade. There were several reasons for this, one being that a lot of new students were added to the 7th and 8th grades who were not accepted to any of the other special junior highs. Also, for a public school to go from pre-K thru 8th grade is too wide a range.What happened to the big plans for a junior high at the building on Adams Street? Does that exist? Lots of things to think about.

  • ABC

    Should have been a 600-seat school.

    I’m neutral on the idea of a k-8 ps8 school. It’s only fair to make those middle grades open to all district kids. – we shouldn’t have rules that apply only to us. And assuming it’s a district middle school, you’d have a big influx of new students in 6th grade. It seems problematic. A larger dock street middle school would have made more sense and, I suspect, been cheaper in the long run.

  • bklyn20

    Lori, there is a junior high on Adams Street, but it’s small and girls only. People I know whose children go there are generally pleased, but there remains a lack of viable middle school alternatives NOW in the PS 8 general area. In addition, I and many others believe that kids that have known each other from kindergarten or even pre-k are generally kinder to one another than those suddenly thrown together. Dealing with Clearasil, Midol, changing voices and surging hormones is bad enough without being massed with a bunch of strangers. The feeling of community in PS 8 — even thought the students come from 4 or 5 different physical communities — is invaluable and should not be lost at such a tough time in a child’s life.