DOE Drops Controversial Plan to Move TriBeCa's P.S. 150 to Chelsea
TRIBECA — The Department of Education has dropped its controversial plan to move a tiny TriBeCa elementary school to a larger state-of-the-art facility in Chelsea after hearing from furious parents and community leaders, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Parents at P.S. 150 were shocked and enraged when they learned in April that the DOE wanted to move the beloved school's 188 pre-K-through-fifth-grade students to the new Foundling School at West 17th Street and Sixth Avenue in September 2014.
The school's principal Jenny Bonnet previously told parents in a letter that the DOE wanted to move the school and give it more space to grow to create "expanded opportunities for our students."
On Tuesday, DOE spokesman Devon Puglia said the city backed off the plan because of the negative reaction from the community.
“As always, we seek and listen to neighborhood families — and we listened here,” Puglia said in an emailed statement. “Based on feedback and numerous conversations with this community, we decided this was the appropriate course of action.”
P.S. 150, a school that has just one class per grade, is not zoned, but gives preference to families living south of Canal Street. The elementary school has no gym or auditorium, but parents have said that what they lack in facilities, they make up for with attentive teachers and a strong sense of of community.
Parents and local leaders said Tuesday that they were thrilled with the city's change of heart.
"We are very pleased with the recent decision of the DOE," said Rosario Castronovo, a P.S. 150 parent. "It was an approach that was community-based and sensible."
P.S. 150 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.