The last chance to build an Downtown Brooklyn elementary school in D15?

80 Flatbush: Proposed site of new elementary school

For nearly 6 years, Downtown Brooklyn School Solutions has worked closely with Councilman Stephen Levin to bring new elementary schools to the neighborhood. There has been consensus from the Councilman, Community Board 2, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the School Construction Authority and many other stakeholders that new schools must be built to ward off overcrowding due to the unplanned and unanticipated residential building boom spurred by the 2004 rezoning.

According to to our estimates the boom has only just begun:

  •  6650 new residential units were built between 2005 and 2016.
  • An estimated 12,000 new residential units will be constructed between 2017 and 2022.

The largest concentration of new units will be built in District 15 (and this time around these will be family-sized apartments). There are currently no elementary schools in Downtown Brooklyn in D15 and these units are zoned for schools on the other side of Atlantic Ave. Some numbers:

  • From 2017 to 2022, 1831 new units will be built in the PS 261 zone (Boerum Hill / Cobble Hill). This school is already 80 students over capacity.
  • In the nearby P.S. 38’s zone (Boerum Hill / Gowanus), a whopping 4037 apartments are renting, nearly complete, under construction or planned for in the next 5 years. There are fewer then 90 spaces left at that school.

With continued development in Boerum Hill, Gowanus, and Cobble Hill, District 15 is running out of suitable locations to build new schools (and there is already serious overcrowding elsewhere within the district).

Now there is a proposed new 350 seat elementary school to be built as part of the 80 Flatbush mixed use redevelopment that will bring a mix of apartments (market and affordable), offices, retail, community space and a new building for the existing Khalil Gibran high school. While there has been some community opposition to the scale and height of the residential buildings and opposition from the Community Board, the City Planning Commission voted unanmously to approve the project last week. Building new school buildings at this location should be a no brainer! Its time for everyone to work together to figure out a way to make it happen.

Levin’s 2013 letter of support for new schools

The sole remaining voice that could swing this project is City Councilman Stephen Levin.   The most important vote is coming up this week.  With all the work Councilman Levin has put in over the years working to bring new schools to the neighborhood, we urge him to put his money where his mouth is and find a way to bring a much needed new school to this location!

You can share your opinion with the Councilman’s office:  His district office number is 718-875-5200; You can also email Jonathan Boucher  and Glomani Bravo-Lopez

Find out more about the history of the project: