One of the promises that NYU made to the Greenwich Village community in order to soften the blow of its massive expansion was a new seven-story public school on Bleecker Street. But now the University may be getting the opportunity to go back on that promise as the Department of Education has until the end of this year to commit funding for the school and they're not so sure they want to. The DOE has yet to comment on whether they will meet the deadline, but they have indicated that other, more crowded areas need the money more. Greenwich Village residents, meanwhile, contend that with all the new housing being built, their need will soon catch up to that of other more populous neighborhoods. "Every empty lot you look at, they're building new condos. And they're building family-size apartments, which means more families moving in," said the chair of the Community Board 2 schools committee.
Indicative of how much of a mess this whole situation is, the reason for the December 31 deadline is that Councilwoman Margaret Chin had it moved up from 2025 in order to hold NYU's feet to the fire and force them to follow through with their community improvements. Obviously, that's backfired. Now Chin is trying to get the deadline pushed back again, which NYU, of course, has no interest in. They sent the Councilwoman a borderline taunting letter informing her that "we take seriously any request from your office, but in this instance, we cannot accede to your request," and cited the fact that they are currently involved in some lawsuits, basically saying, hey, sorry, we're kind of busy at the moment and don't have time for your little school thing. If the DOE misses the deadline, the site will revert back to NYU to use as academic space.
· City on Verge of Losing NYU Site That Was Supposed to Become Public School [DNAinfo]
· NYU coverage [Curbed]
Photo by Andriy Prokopenko