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UWS School In Running To Become High Rise Site

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The city Department of Education could get a major cash infusion from some prime real estate, but the potential plan is not sitting well with everyone. NY1's Manhattan reporter Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

As parents and students returned to P.S. 199 from their abbreviated winter break Wednesday there was buzz outside the Upper West Side building.

"I've heard that it's gonna be one of the schools that's gonna be torn down, and I think a lot of the students are not happy about that," said fourth grader Lulu Taylor.

It is not going to happen any time soon, but the P.S. 199 site - 270 West 70th Street - is one of three that the Department of Education is shopping around, asking for interest from residential developers.

Although any potential development would have to include plans to rebuild the school as part of any new building, just the possibility upsets some parents.

"I think there's enough condos here to fulfill New York's or at least the Upper West Side's demands. I think we should just leave the school here, people are comfortable they move into this area for the school, and leave it be," said Samuel Dan, a parent.

"It's definitely a major concern for a lot of people in this neighborhood," said Andrew Trager, a parent.

The students could be relocated during construction, another thing that concerns some people.

"I just don't that there is any place at this moment to put 850 kids from this school," said Joann Park, a parent.

"There's so little space, where are they going to put them? In Central Park? In Riverside Park? In a trailer somewhere on the Hudson?" said Andrew Targum, a neighborhood resident.

The other schools included in the request for interest are P.S. 191, at 20 West 61st Street on the Upper West Side, and the School for Cooperative Technical Education at 321 East 96th Street on the Upper East Side.

Eric Shuffler, the PTA president at P.S. 199, said he is trying to keep an open mind.

"Right now it's a process and we really want to understand it an be engaged in the process and have our concerns heard," Shuffler said.

The request for interest says even if city officials approve preliminary plans for any of the schools, they would still seek community input, but some politicians have already expressed their concerns.

In addition, P.S. 199 was designed by famed architect Edward Durell Stone, meaning it could present another obstacle to development.

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