We hear good things from parents about elementary schools P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights, P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights and P.S. 11 in Clinton Hill, even though they’re still a little under the radar compared to Park Slope’s P.S. 321, above.

What other elementary schools are solid or about to turn a corner, in your opinion? We’re especially interested in what’s going on in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Kensington, Bed Stuy and Williamsburg. Where would you send your kids?


Maple Street School, a Prospect Lefferts Gardens preschool founded in 1978, is expanding. The school signed a 15-year lease for 5,500 square feet at 626 Flatbush, the 23-story mixed-use 80/20 tower Hudson Companies is building in the neighborhood.

The school will mostly occupy the second floor of the community and retail space at the base of the building, pictured above. It will have a private entrance and a 1,200 square foot roof terrace, a Hudson spokesperson told us.

The school has been at 21 Lincoln Road since 2001. The new location will more than double the school’s space.

“Every year, Maple Street School has to turn away more students than it accepts. We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand to this second location, so that we can accommodate more children and help meet the great need in this community for quality early education,” said school Director Wendy Cole in a prepared statement.

The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2016, said Hudson. GMAP

Rendering by Marvel Architects


The scaffolding has come down at 177 Harrison Avenue to reveal a nearly complete religious school in the Broadway Triangle area. The building, which will house Bais Ruchel High School for girls, is considerably more elaborate than the simple cement block apartment buildings common in the area, with big arched windows and bands of trim accenting red brick. It departs significantly from the rendering, however, which can be seen after the jump.

Congregation Y.G.S. at 174 Rodney Street is the owner. Mark Marisca is the architect, according to the new-building permit. The five-story building will have an auditorium on the top floor and a play area on the roof, according to the Schedule A.

What do you think of the look? GMAP


340 4th avenue construction gowanus 22015

After years of delay, a long-planned three-story commercial building is pretty far along at the corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street in Gowanus. The building at 340 4th Avenue will include 7,945 square feet of commercial space and 3,485 square feet for a community facility, according to permits first filed back in 2011.

Schedule A filings reveal that there will be retail on the first two floors and a school on the third floor, in addition to six parking spots.

Way back in 2008, there were rumors that Starbucks was considering a location on the empty lot, which sits in front of a Staples. The site is across the street from the park housing the Old Stone House in Park Slope — and now a block from Whole Foods.

Ultimately, developer Joseph Zafarani of BYP Capital LLC bought it for $3,250,000 in 2007, according to public records and a story in the Brooklyn Eagle at the time. It has been and out of lis pendens since then, and Zafarani seems to have bought it out of foreclosure at auction in 2012, according to public records, which may explain the construction delay. The architect is Douglas Pulaski of Bricolage Designs, according to the permits.

It’s not clear whether the building has topped out or will go higher, as per the rendering. Click through to see the rendering, which appears to be covered in Obama conspiracy theory graffiti.

Commercial Development Coming on 4th Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP


1622 bergen street crown heights 22015

Two Crown Heights teachers who want to create an educational community garden at 1662 Bergen Street received unanimous approval from Community Board 8 last night, despite the fact that the city-owned lot has been targeted for development. The concrete-covered, 1,800-square-foot lot is on the list of vacant sites that HPD wants to redevelop for affordable housing. It also sits across the street from Granville T Woods School on Rochester Avenue and Bergen, where Zsabatta Taylor and Liesel Zitman teach third and fourth grade.

The duo plan to use the space to teach kids from pre-K through fifth grade about agriculture and the environment, and to involve parents and the nearby community in the garden. Nonprofit 596 Acres will help install raised garden beds, the teachers told CB8.

After the meeting, a community board member who runs Mama Dee’s Garden nearby advised Taylor to get in touch with the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust. BQLT acquires community gardens throughout the five boroughs to protect them from development. GMAP

Image via Google Maps


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