To the residents of Kingsbridge,
As a community, we are demanding a stop to the proposed expansion of International Leadership Charter High School (ILCHS) to build a new middle school facility on 232nd Street between Irwin and Tibbetts Avenue. This project poses significant risks, including educational, environmental, health, and financial concerns to the residents of this community and to the proposed school community itself.
The site in question used to be a single resident family home; it is now intended to be a 7-floor building supporting over 300 students in a lot area of 4,329 square feet. The proposed site is not sufficient to accommodate a middle school facility, especially without negatively impacting the surrounding community.
Residents of the community have made several requests to speak with the builders and school community leaders regarding the negative impact of this proposed project on this community, but the project sponsors have shown no interest in supporting the community and addressing these concerns. The school's inaction demonstrates their lack of care for this neighborhood.
Together, we are asking you to join residents of the community and stop the building of this charter school and hold NY legislators accountable for the future of our young people.
Defining A Need: Within the four surrounding blocks of the site, this community hosts 15 educational institutions. Some of these schools were built and managed by the same sponsors as this project. The project sponsors have failed to show that there is an educational need being met by building yet another school in this neighborhood. We request that our fellow residents, elected officials, and Community Board 8 advocate on our behalf to assess whether this is a suitable location for a new middle school facility.
Traffic Impact: The building entrance will sit adjacent to an active parking lot, which poses safety concerns to the school children and other pedestrians. The proposed school plans do not provide for parking space or designated safe drop off and pick up location for the students. On already tight streets with limited parking, there will be even more demand for parking and condensed flow of traffic. We request that our fellow residents, elected officials, and Community Board 8 advocate to the NYC Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic assessment of this location.
Environmental Impact: The land hosts the Tibbetts Brook underneath which causes severe flooding on the streets and residences. There are no garbage cans or pick up stations on the block raising sanitation concerns. In addition, the influx of people will dramatically increase noise pollution. The community is requesting that an environment impact study be conducted to properly assess the safety concerns associated with this project.
Safety Concerns for School Children: The school fails to offer sufficient on-site facilities to comply with New York State Education Department requirements, including: 1) Space for physical education, the arts, library and information skills, and other aspects that generally require dedicated spaces; 2) Compliance with relevant municipal and state requirements to ensure that students — including those with mobility-related disabilities — can safely evacuate, shelter-in-place, lockdown, or take other appropriate actions in response to a fire or other emergency situation; 3) Impact on local traffic and emergency vehicle access, specifically during student arrival and dismissal times; and 4) Provision of space for general student health and wellness, including a cafeteria and outdoor space for gathering and recreation.
Financial: The arrival of more students, traffic, pollution, and other concerns will negatively affect the quality of living in this community and the property value of our residences.
Educational: The continued push for charter school education places a substantial amount of resources on these institutions that are not held to the same standards as public schools.
This community will continue to rally the support of our fellow residents, Community Board 8, and our elected officials to advocate for the halting of this project and to investigate the detrimental impact this development will have in this community.
To learn more about the project please visit: https://www.stopthecharterschool.com