As the photo from yesterday shows, workers continue to clear out the former P.S. 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center. Per the building permit on file with the city: "INTERIOR DEMOLITION OF NON LOAD BEARING PARTITIONS."
As you know, there are plans on file to convert the building into a 500-bed dorm called University House on East Ninth Street just east of Avenue B. Earlier in the month, developer Gregg Singer said that he already had a 15-year agreement for 200 of the beds with Cooper Union, as The Wall Street Journal first reported.
And Singer sat down with The Villager for a lengthy feature in this week's issue.
A few highlights of what Singer says will be a state-of-the-art facility:
The basement — formerly home to a 400-seat auditorium where F.D.R. once riled the masses, and where the Fringe Festival was staged — would now house a bike room, fitness center, TV lounge and game rooms outfitted with pool, ping-pong and foosball tables, along with Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
And how about the idea of bringing 500-students into a residential neighborhood?
“Manhattan has almost 2 million people. These kids are already coming to the East Village,” [Singer] said.
“They are putting three to four students in studios around here,” he noted. “This is a safe and managed environment. Isn’t that better than cramming them in all these brownstones?”
“Unused as an elementary school since 1977, the century-old structure sat empty for the past 11 years,” reads an April 18 press release on the University House dorm. “The building occupies much of the city block, where its vacancy has inhibited local development and the growth of small businesses in the neighborhood.”
Councilmember Rosie Mendez is not pleased with the developments here.
Mendez said she met with Cooper President Bharucha to voice her displeasure.
“I told him I’m not happy with this dorm plan, the community is not happy,” she said. “There will be protests, and I will be joining in when that happens.”
Read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, as we noted Tuesday, the East Village Community Coalition started a petition campaign that reads:
COMMUNITY USE - NOT DORMITORY
Respect our community. Respect this community treasure: Old P.S. 64 located at 605 East 9th Street.
Old P.S. 64, a designated New York City landmark, has a long and valued history serving our community. This building could easily serve our community again. Dormitory use of this building does not serve our community. Cooper Union should not house students in old P.S. 64.
We ask that old P.S. 64 be returned to use for our community.
Find the petition here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Will old PS 64 get a theater for nonprofit groups?
Rebranded P.S. 64 up for grabs: Please welcome University House at Tompkins Square Park to the neighborhood
Deed for 'community facility use only' at the former P.S. 64 now on the market
2 new sidewalk bridges arrive as city disapproves latest plan for P.S. 64