Lower Manhattan Resurgence Leads to School Crowding

schoolbuses.jpgDuring its coverage of this morning's 9/11 ceremonies, WABC mentioned the building and population growth in the surrounding neighborhood. "58,000 residents call Lower Manhattan home," it said, "and building booms as never before." Downtown Alliance President Liz Berger was interviewed, and said "Who would have thought... that we'd have a school overcrowding problem?"

Just yesterday, in his bid to dismantle the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and take over the WTC rebuilding, Mayor Bloomberg bragged on the rapid repopulation of Lower Manhattan ("fastest-growing residential neighborhood in the country, bustling morning, noon and night"). Today the New York Post reports that a Community Board 1 survey predicts the neighborhood's growth -- which CB1 says will put population at 85,000 by 2013, an 83 percent leap over 2000 Census figures -- will stress local services, including schools.

The city has acknowledged as much, and last month moved to ease school overcrowding throughout the city, including Lower Manhattan. But only two new schools are planned for the district by 2010, and a DOE spokesman told the New York Sun that "two popular TriBeCa schools, P.S. 234 and P.S. 89, could have so many kindergartners enroll that by fall 2009 there will not be enough space to fill all of them."

Gotham Gazette earlier noticed the role of luxury apartment growth on school crowding.

Image adapted from a Flickr photo by krispdk under a Creative Commons license.


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