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BY JEANNINE KIELY | Thanks to a long list of parent advocates and elected officials who have led the charge for a new middle school in Greenwich Village since 2007, 75 Morton is scheduled to open in September 2017, in time for students currently enrolled in third grade.
With an opening date for the school now on the horizon, Community Board 2’s goal is to set up 75 Morton for success through continued parent and community engagement.
Parents can see plans for the 75 Morton Middle School on Mon., May 11, at 6:30 p.m, when the city’s School Construction Authority presents at a joint C.B. 2 / Community Education Council District 2 meeting at the L.G.B.T. Center, 208 W. 13th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves.
A 177,000-square-foot, seven-story handicap-accessible building, 75 Morton St. is undergoing a gut renovation led by The DeMatteis Organizations. In addition to classrooms, science labs, art and music rooms, school-wide facilities include a ground-floor light-filled cafeteria, library, double-height “gymatorium” — combined gym, auditorium and theater — and an outdoor play yard.
In fall 2015 and winter 2016, the 75 Morton Community Alliance, a volunteer group established by the community throughout C.E.C. 2, will lead a series of envisioning meetings for parents to provide input to the Department of Education about what type of middle school parents want to see at 75 Morton. The Community Alliance held similar meetings in the past, which helped establish that 75 Morton would be a singular middle school.
In winter 2016, the D.O.E. Office of New Schools will formally create a new school Working Group, which will provide suggestions to D.O.E. about 75 Morton’s programming, admissions policy and more. In addition to parent representatives from the Community Alliance, the Working Group will include representatives from the C.E.C., Presidents’ Council, C.B. 2, local politicians, students, principals and teachers.
If you would like to get more involved, please attend the May 11 C.B. 2 / C.E.C. 2 meeting or e-mail: 75Morton@gmail.com .
In December 2014, thanks to conversation and pressure from parents, C.B. 2 and elected officials, N.Y.U. agreed to extend an almost-expired Bleecker School deadline to Dec. 31, 2018. This extension gives the S.C.A. more time to include the Bleecker School in its capital plan and extends the construction start date to July 31, 2020. If this had not happened, the option to build a 100,0000-square-foot school would have expired by Dec. 31, 2014.
The school is planned for the current Morton Williams supermarket site, at LaGuardia Place and Bleecker St.
Going forward, C.B. 2 will collaborate with D.O.E. to make sure that the Bleecker School is funded through an amendment to the D.O.E. capital plan for fiscal years 2015-2019 and that our hard-won school is built as a public school for our community.
Jeannine Kiely is chairperson of the Community Board 2 Schools and Education Committee.