Build it, and they will come ... and keep coming.
In a unanimous vote with one recusal, the NYC Panel For Education Policy voted to add a temporary new school to the during a meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School on Tuesday.
The new academic institute, informally referred to as "Maspeth High School," will be "co-located" at QMEC, which presently houses Queens Metropolitan High School, the and P.S. 233. According to the NYC Department of Education, a "co-location" involves two or more schools sharing the same auditoriums, gymnassiums and cafeterias.
The Department of Education contends that the brand new campus, which lies near the Forest Hills-Glendale border near St. John Cemetery, is presently "underutilized" and can accomodate another small school. Maspeth High will only have a ninth grade with roughly 225 students at the start, according to DOE spokesperson Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld. It is scheduled to be relocated to Maspeth in September 2012, when it will also take on more grades.
Critics of the plan agreed that QMEC is currently underutilized, but pointed out that its three schools are going to expand and accept more students in the upcoming years.
Queens Metropolitan presently serves ninth graders, but will grow to serve grades 9-12 by 2013-2014. Metropolitan Expeditionary is a choice middle school serving students in grades six and seven, but will add an eigth grade next year and a high school by 2015-2016. P.S. 233, a District 75 special education school serving youngsters from ages 11 to 21, will also increase matriculation over time.
"I'm concerned that they won't move [the Maspeth H.S. students] out...that would ruin the whole vision of creating the campus," said Forest Hills Community & Civic Association Vice President J.R. Nocerino, who noted that QMEC was built specifically to alleviate overcrowding at local schools.
The Panel for Education Policy enforces school governance lesiglation, and Tuesday's roughly four-hour meeting was constantly disrupted by United Federation of Teachers representatives, teachers and parents of school children. Among other things, the attendees demanded more funding to education and 17 of which will come from cuts at the QMEC.