Volume 79, Number 03 | June 24 - 30, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Talking Point


A pop quiz on the Greenwich Village Middle School

By Jenny Klion
It’s well past midnight, and I find myself cramming for an exam in a course I didn’t realize I’d registered for. Earlier this evening, I attended a last-minute review session at my daughter’s middle school. The special guest was J.W., a well-mannered company spokesperson from the Department of Education who was addressing the community’s concerns about the required (re)move(al) of the school from its current location atop P.S. 3 on Hudson St. Let’s review the topics for the coming year:

Q: What is the name of the only public middle school in Greenwich Village?
A: Greenwich Village Middle School.

Q: Which school is being forced out of its current space because the overflow of incoming P.S. 3 and P.S. 41 kindergartners is creating an immediate and pressing problem for local taxpaying West Village families who can no longer afford to send their children to private elementary school?
A: Greenwich Village Middle School.

Q: Will any of these incoming kindergartners be going to middle school someday, and if so, will any of them still be living in Greenwich Village, and if so, might any of their families expect to have an available middle school in their historic neighborhood that is one of the landmarks of not only New York City, but New York City education (e.g., N.Y.U.)?
A: Yes. Absolutely.

Q: Give an example of one location in Greenwich Village proper that D.O.E. is suggesting would be a suitable space for a Greenwich Village Middle School future site.
A: N/A

Pencils down. Five-minute break.

Q: What are the locations of D.O.E.-suggested space options for G.V.M.S.? Give at least one example this time, and feel free to add comments to your answer.
A: 26 Broadway, a privately owned and D.O.E.-pre-empted, leased building in a high-rise industrial complex. No comment, see below.

Q: How many Hollywood studio executives does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Q: Does it have to be a light bulb?
A: Yes! Greenwich Village Middle School has to remain in Greenwich Village.

Q: Are there any other possible locations besides the very tip of Manhattan, where security is extremely high, construction rules the streets and big-time money is being made but won’t be spent on the 11-year-olds who will now have to travel alone down there because of it?
A: Yes, 75 Morton St., directly around the corner from G.V.M.S.

No talking, please.

Q: In your own words, describe the D.O.E. guy’s take on the long-running community desire to move G.V.M.S. to 75 Morton St., particularly at this point in time, when the transfer of space is now being securely mandated by the city?
A: The space needs work, and it’s too much of a hassle.

Settle down, now, folks. Please. Last question, to the woman in the jeans and sweatshirt, stewing in the corner.

Q: Who owns the property on 75 Morton St., and/or use the word “irony” in the following sentence:
A: New York State, but the building has been taken off the market, and is not available for purchase because they would not be able to get a good price for it now.

Q: Again, in your own words, what are the three biggest variables in the following equation? Available school space + a state-owned building = a new home for G.V.M.S.
A: Money. Politics. Middle school children left behind.

Testing begins this September, for the following school year.

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