In a September 23rd letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Nolan wrote, “I have enclosed letters from my Queens colleagues requesting consideration of 78-16 Cooper Avenue in City School District (CSD) 24 and Community Board 5 for use of a school.”
“I support this request that the Capital Plan should include three more school buildings in Queens,” Nolan wrote. “CSD 24 has been overcrowded for 25 years. This site provides an excellent opportunity for the construction of a building which will provide additional seats for our students.”
Two weeks ago, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley told Community Education Council 24 she supports a school campus on Cooper Avenue.
Glendale Civic Association President Kathy Masi said she was appreciative that Nolan is on board with the community in the fight against a shelter and for a school.
“It's a very, very rare opportunity in Queens to have a big parcel of land be available,” Masi said. “I'm just hoping that the elected officials can move this to fruition.”
While the Department of Education and School Construction Authority have repeatedly said they are not interested in pursuing a school at and around 78-16 Cooper Avenue, Masi said the authority has “never expressed that they are against having a complex there.”
The problem, she said, is that “all three of these parcels are up in the air. There's nothing definite,” so the SCA doesn't want to move on the property.
Masi said the mayor has been “disturbingly quiet” on the issue of warehouse-style homeless shelters.
“Our FOIA requests have been stonewalled. It's a very disturbing position they're putting us in,” Masi said. “We get letters from DHS that we're not entitled to this information. So either they're stonewalling us, or they're totally incompetent.”
Sal Crifasi, founder of the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition and owner of Crifasi Real Estate, said he is fully in support of a school campus on Cooper Avenue as opposed to a homeless shelter.
“Right now, we have an overcrowded school system as it is,” Crifasi said. “They want to add more kids instead of adding more classrooms and that doesn't make any sense. You have 32 kids in the classroom now. Obviously we need a school.”
Last week, the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition filed Article 78 proceedings challenging an environmental assessment for the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. The move is part of the coalition's plan to stop the homeless shelter through the legal system.
According to Crifasi, to date the coalition has raised upwards of $30,000 of their $100,000 goal to cover legal fees.