City Council Member and City Comptroller candidate David Yassky has sent a letter to Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein urging them to become involved in the site selection process for a new middle school in this area. Based on his review of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request, Yassky charges that the School Construction Authority, which has recommended placing the school in the controversial proposed Dock Street high rise in DUMBO, has failed to exercise due diligence in examining possible alternative sites. The full text of Yassky’s press release follows the break.
Absent Due Diligence by School Construction Authority, Yassky Asks Top Leadership to Take Over Process
In a letter to Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and Chancellor Joel Klein, Council Member David Yassky today urged the City’s top two education officials to insert themselves into the site selection process for a middle school in Downtown Brooklyn. Over several months, the School Construction Authority (SCA) – the City agency charged with building the most cost-effective schools for students and City taxpayers – have offered contradictory statements and proven unwilling to conduct a truly diligent site search.
For years, Council Member Yassky has urged the Administration to provide a middle school for Downtown Brooklyn, and remains committed to that important cause. However, at this point, the SCA seems committed to spending $43 million for a school at a seriously problematic site in DUMBO with no evidence of the Authority having undertaken a thorough analysis of the cost-effectiveness of other sites.
“With our economy in crisis, families across New York are doing more with less. They are making difficult budget decisions every day and trying to squeeze greater results out of fewer resources. New Yorkers are rightfully demanding the same from City government,” Council Member Yassky writes in the letter. “Therefore, I ask for your help in ensuring that the SCA act in good faith and conduct a truly diligent site search for a middle school in Downtown Brooklyn.”
Documents obtained by Yassky’s office through a Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) request indicate that the SCA has neither been straightforward with the public in regard to this matter, nor have they seriously considered other sites that both members of the community and his office have put forth as alternatives to the controversial Dock Street project.