Volume 78 - Number 40 / March 11 -17, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


G.V. Middle School might move to Battery Park City

By Julie Shapiro

A building many viewed as the solution to Battery Park City’s school overcrowding could become the solution to Greenwich Village’s school overcrowding, too.

The city may move Greenwich Village Middle School from an overcrowded building on Hudson St. into P.S./I.S. 276, the new K-8 school opening in B.P.C. in 2010. P.S./I.S. 276 will have extra space when it opens with only a kindergarten and first grade in 2010, so the building could temporarily house the Greenwich Village Middle School, said Will Havemann, a Department of Education spokesperson. D.O.E. first mentioned the idea at a District 2 Community Education Council meeting Feb. 25.

However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wrote a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein calling the proposal “entirely unacceptable” and saying it “should be clearly and unequivocally withdrawn.”

“The Department of Education needs to find an alternative solution if it wishes to relocate the Greenwich Village Middle School,” Silver wrote. “The Battery Park City school is not an option.”

Greenwich Village Middle School is growing and needs to move out of the space it shares with P.S. 3 at 490 Hudson St. by fall 2010. The city’s first choice is to move the school’s 225 students to a permanent new home at the state-owned 75 Morton St., but if that option falls through, D.O.E. may temporarily move the school to Battery Park City instead, Havemann said. Village parents are pushing for the Morton St. space.

Havemann added that G.V.M.S. would not interfere with the K-8 already planned for P.S./I.S. 276. The city will phase in each of 276’s grades one year at a time, as this fall’s kindergarteners grow up. Using that model, 276’s eighth grade won’t open until 2017, which means the school will have extra space for years.

Kelly McGuire, G.V.M.S. principal, said either 75 Morton St. or P.S./I.S. 276 would be preferable to staying at P.S. 3.

“I think that option would be O.K.,” he said of temporarily moving to B.P.C.

Terri Ruyter, principal of P.S./I.S. 276, said she would be happy to share her space with Greenwich Village Middle School.

“I’m not territorial,” she said. “I’m sure there will be no problem… . They’re all our children — we would make it work.”

   But Jeff Mihok, a B.P.C. parent, did not think it was a good idea for the schools to share space.

“It’s going to be hard enough for [P.S./I.S. 276] to form its own culture and identity as a new school,” Mihok said. “It really would be a very big challenge.”

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