Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today applauded the LMDC decision to seek a location other than Site 2B to temporarily host the World Trade Center Survivors’ Staircase. Such a move could have interfered with Silver’s push to build a new school at Site 2B in Battery Park City.
“By working together with parents, leaders in our community and the LMDC, we have successfully protected Site 2B from being even the temporary home of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Staircase,” said Silver. “With such limited space downtown, Site 2B provides a great opportunity to provide our children with much-needed classroom space. Building a new school here must be our top priority in order to meet the growing demand set by dramatic growth in our local residential population.”
Assembly Speaker Silver has been working tirelessly, alongside Chairperson Julie Menin and the rest of Community Board 1, to designate Site 2B, located on Battery Place, as the future location of a much-needed K-8 school. Silver met personally with Chancellor Klein in February of 2007 and provided statistical details of the critical need for additional classroom space downtown. Subsequently thereafter, negotiations between the Battery Park City Authority and the School Construction Authority continued making steady progress.
When it was learned that the LMDC had proposed possibly moving the WTC Survivors’ Staircase to Site 2B to prevent delays in Ground Zero construction, Speaker Silver immediately expressed opposition to such a move fearing it could delay his plans to build a school at the site. After countless meetings and discussions, LMDC Chair Avi Schick recently announced a plan to preserve and protect the stairway without moving it to Site 2B.
“I thank LMDC Chairman Avi Schick for working tirelessly to come up with alternative plans for the World Trade Center Survivors’ Staircase,” said Silver.
While there are no final plans, Silver’s efforts to build a new school at Site 2B would add to his many victories in improving education for Lower Manhattan’s children. Sheldon Silver successfully advocated for the PS 234 annex, which is scheduled to open in September and provide 6 additional classrooms, and a new K-8 school, referred to as the Beekman School, near NY Downtown Hospital. Construction of the Beekman School, which will serve over 600 children, is currently underway and will be completed by September 2009.