Local apartment building construction may be booming, but that's not the case for neighborhood schools, which have to deal with extra tenants and overcrowded classrooms. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
New development in New York has soared over the last 10 to 15 years. While this may be good for the city’s economy and the overall health of the real estate market, a new study examines one major downside to new construction.
"The report goes through all the new construction in a number of neighborhoods and it shows how many seats the city should have planned for based on the new housing units built. The city should have been building schools all along," says Barbara Denham, the chief economist of Eastern Consolidated.
Unfortunately, it has not. According to Denham's report, the city has not followed its own formula for how many new school seats should be created based on the number of new housing units added.
Her report evaluated the Upper West Side, Midtown West and Lower Manhattan and found the more construction, the more the public schools are being squeezed.
"From West 59th Street to West 77th Street, they have added over 6,000 new housing units and they only have four school buildings right now and all four of them are over-capacity," says Denham. "Enrollment in those four schools has grown by over 700 students from 2006 to 2011. There is a plan to build a new school on Riverside South that will open in 2016 but that school will likely be overcrowded by the time it opens."
That is because by the time it opens, an addition 3,000 units will have come on line.
The same goes for Midtown West.
"In Midtown West, they have already added 11,000 new housing units from 1998 to 2011 and the plan is to add 4,000 more. And that’s before the plans for Hudson Yards gets underway, which is another 5,000 units," says Denham.
One school there is being replaced with a larger building, but it too will most likely be over-capacity by opening day.
In Lower Manhattan, where there have been 17,000 units added in the last 15 years, the city is working to keep up with the demand. Five new schools have been built since 1988 and another one is on the way, but they seem to exceed capacity in just a matter of years.
Some developers are starting to work with the city to include schools in their new projects, but Denham says this report finds the city still need to catch up with years of development to catch up with.
To see a full copy of the report, visit www.easternconsolidated.com.