Former District Leader Renee Collymore has organized an emergency town hall meeting with school principals, residents and business owners to discuss safety in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill after an incident last month when 20 or 30 “unsupervised students from local schools began a terrifying brawl outside a quiet coffee shop,” on Vanderbilt between Dekalb and Lafayette, according to a flyer we spotted in the neighborhood. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Laurie Cumbo are expected to attend.

Collymore witnessed the fight on October 9, and said police did not show up when called to break up an earlier fight on October 5, according to a story in DNAinfo. The meeting is set for Wednesday, November 19 from 6:30 to 8 pm at P.S. 20 at 225 Adelphi Street.

ps 138 addition 801 park place crown heights rendering 82014

The city’s School Construction Authority posted this rendering on the fence for an addition coming to a parking lot next to P.S. 138 in Crown Heights. No new building or alt-1 permits have been filed, and the permits on the fence are alteration type-2 permits for “installation of connecting link.” So we don’t have many details, but it looks like the three-story addition will have garages on the ground floor and either offices or classroom above. The architect listed is Macrae-Gibson Architects, who have worked on schools throughout the city.

The main school building is a huge turn of the century structure at 801 Park Place and 760 Prospect Place, because it sits on a lot that spans the whole block between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues. Constructed in 1907, it began its life as the Brooklyn Training School for Teachers. Click through for pictures of the lot and the school.

Building of the Day: 760 Prospect Place [Brownstoner] GMAP


292 court street cobble hill

A private Montessori school group is presenting its plans next week to alter the facade of a landmarked former movie theater at 292 Court Street in Cobble Hill. The school needs LPC approval to change the facade and “to install storefront infill, two barrier-free access ramps, a flag, a canopy, and an elevator bulkhead, “according to the LPC agendaCalifornia-based LePort Schools signed a lease in April for the 15,700-square-foot building, which includes an additional 6,000 square feet of rooftop and back terrace space, as we reported at the time.


701 caton ave school kensington 72014

The city is building a large K through 8 elementary and middle school on a former vacant lot at 713 Caton Avenue in Kensington, where we found these renderings on the fence. The New York City School Construction Authority is developing the five-story building, which will be 87,629 square feet, according to new building permits.



New York Communities for Change and UPKNYC are hosting a Brooklyn town hall meeting tonight at Brooklyn Borough Hall to educate the public and drum up support for Mayor de Blasio’s plan to fund universal pre-K and additional after school activities across the city. The mayor wants to support these new initiatives with a five-year increase on the city income tax for those earning $500,000 and up from 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent, which would bring in an estimated $530,000,000 in new revenue annually, according to a press release sent out by the event organizers.

The plan, which needs approval from Cuomo and the state legislature, would help 53,767 children who receive inadequate pre-K or none at all. Through the tax increase, the city also wants to expand after-school programs for 120,000 middle schoolers, with new programs between 3 and 6 pm in academics, culture and athletics.

“Albany has promised universal pre-K since 1997, but funding commitments haven’t materialized and tens of thousands of New York City children are left behind,” the release continued. “New York City should have home rule authority to raise its own taxes, to provide a dedicated funding source guarantees program stability.”

The meeting is planned for 6:30 to 8:30 pm tonight at 209 Joralemon Street.

Photo by Ad Meskens 

A partial steel structure is up at 297 North 7th Street, where the project is the subject of a lawsuit. The building is supposed to be a nine-story school with 34,827 square feet, according to new building permits.

We’re not sure if the site has been active recently. When we went by we didn’t see any workers, but it was after hours on a weekday. After building permits were initially approved in August, days later two real estate firms sued the developer for allegedly failing to pay a commission they were due for finding a tenant for the space, private school company MetSchools, as The Real Deal reported at the time.

The developer is Harry Einhorn – yes, that same Harry Einhorn we wrote about yesterday. He was convicted of fraud in 2002 and has been in the news for raising the rent on a senior center and day care nearby as well as plans to build a huge condo development on 4th Avenue.


A panel on gentrification Thursday night at P.S. 321 proposed some concrete ideas for things people can do to improve affordability and increase diversity in their neighborhoods and schools. As a slide show of photos of Brooklyn’s changing communities played in the background, three sociology professors, all of whom live in Brooklyn, briefly presented their research on gentrification and then took questions from the audience. The panel was convened by the school’s Diversity Committee, made up of P.S. 321 parents.

The main way to improve affordability and diversity in the borough is to increase the availability of affordable housing, said the panel. There are many ways to do this, including via rent regulation, community land trusts, co-ops and taxpayer-funded development. “We should be advocating more public investment in these projects, especially at the federal level, and ensure distribution in the most equitable way, including to different neighborhoods,” said Emily Molina, a professor at Brooklyn College whose research focuses on the uneven impact of the ongoing foreclosure crisis. “The private market will not do that.”

Practical suggestions for improving diversity at P.S. 321 included joint projects with other schools. “Figure out what resources you have to share so you can be involved in joint projects,” said Brooklyn College Professor Emeritus of Sociology Jerome Krase. “Think of the district as being one large school.” (more…)

The Medgar Evers College Library in Crown Heights is getting a facelift, and these renderings we found tacked to the fence show what it will look like when construction wraps in May. The building at 1650 Bedford Avenue between Crown and Montgomery streets has been under construction since March, according to one of the workers on site. There will also be a new student welcome center in the front of the library.

We’ve included interior renderings and a current photo of the library after the jump. What do you think of the new design and updates to this 25-year-old building? GMAP



Carnegie Mellon yesterday announced it will open a 16,000-square-foot science campus in Steiner Studios in the Navy Yard, The New York Times reported. The program will focus on technology and the arts, and include master’s degree programs in game design and emerging media, computational data science, and production technology and management for urban design.

The address of the program will be 25 Washington Avenue, “a historic seven-story building that will also house the Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema,” said the Times.

The program is slated to open in August 2015 and will cost $20 million, including $3.5 promised by New York City. David Steiner, the father of Steiner Studios’ chairman, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and helped with the project.

Carnegie Mellon Bringing Sciences Programs to Brooklyn [NY Times]
Photo by Steiner Studios

Brooklyn Friends School, an independent private school in downtown Brooklyn, signed a lease today for 45,000 square feet at MetroTech at 116 Lawrence Street, soon to become its new Upper School building. Forest City Ratner manages the 23-story high rise, which faces the courtyard of MetroTech buildings as well as Lawrence and Jay Streets. The new Upper School is just two blocks from Brooklyn Friends’ current campus at 375 Pearl Street and will double the size of the school.

The school facilities are being designed by FXFOWLE Architects and will house four science labs, three art studios, a black box theater, dance and music studios, and more than 1,000 square feet of physical fitness space. Until now, Brooklyn Friends’ high school students have traveled to other buildings so they could use art and science labs, and the new space will allow them to take all their classes in one building. About 770 students from pre-K through high school attend Brooklyn Friends, which recently renovated 8,000 square feet of space at 375 Pearl to accommodate its growing enrollment.

The Quaker school will be one of many large tenants at the MetroTech complex, including MakerBot Industries, NYU Polytechnic Institute, El Diario newspaper and the New York City Fire Department. GMAP