July 06, 2008
Bay Ridge High School Occupation of Leif Ericson Park to end?
Click to enlarge. Photo taken today, about 3pm
For the nearly 40 years I've known it, Bay Ridge High School ( now " High School of Telecommunications" ) has been an alien presence in the neighborhood. I knew of no local residents who attended school there, none who worked there. I never heard of any " open houses " or the like when the school ever invited the locals to come in. Blocks of parking spaces on 67th Street were reserved for the school staff. No locals need apply. The school never reached out, never tried to be friendly.
Students from the school sat on the stoops nearby, and didn't like it too much when they were asked to move. It's not as bad as it was some years ago, but you still see loitering "students" cutting class. smoking reefer, on 68th Street, Senator, all the nearby blocks.
Ten years ago, Bay Ridge High School took outdid themselves by commandeering a swath of Leif Eriscon Park that runs between Fourth and Third Avenues. They built temporary classrooms in the park, closed off the Fourth Avenue entrance, and told the locals to stay the hell out.
A major addition to the school has been completed for some time. They don't even need the temporary classroom anymore. But the principal and the Education Department didn't lift a finger to remove the festering sore from the neighborhood. They kept playing pocket pool between coffee breaks and were evidently planning on leaving the trailers in the park for another decade or two.
This was a lovely small park at one time. If you see the stretch near Third Avenue, you can see how the entire park could be pretty once more. But first the hostile and unwelcome Education Dept building must leave.
The NY Daily News, which covers Bay Ridge and Brooklyn better than the Post and the Times combined, covered this story 12 days ago. Only because of their persistent questioning, the sluggards, deadbeats and do-nothings of the NY City Education will move the trailers. One of these years.
It is also noted that the City still has "no parking" signs on Senator blocking three parking spots, even though construction of the Bay Ridge High School (or whatever they're calling it today ) annex has long been completed.
You can enter the park on the Third Avenue side. But if you walk up the path, this is what you run into. Shame on the City and on all of our elected officials for allowing this state of affairs to exist for even one day.
Today, on a Sunday, the air conditioning was going full blast in this empty building. I'm sure it was going strong all weekend.