Vol. 17, No. 3  Jan. 29 - Feb. 11, 2004


On King Holiday, Push for Education at Armory


Over 100 local students braved the freezing temperatures on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day outside the Kingsbridge Armory to demand that future space in the redeveloped Kingsbridge Armory be dedicated to new schools, commercial shopping and community space.

The students, many holding signs with messages to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, were joined by members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition as well as Council Member Joel Rivera and his father, Assemblyman Jose Rivera. 

After Minister Ronald Hare of the First Glorious Church read a shortened version of King's famous "I have a dream" speech, Aquinas High School student Maria Fernandez said, "It's important to ease the overcrowding," of area schools. Fernandez also said she and her friends would like to go see a movie without having to go to East 161st Street. 

Morton Sloan of the nearby Associated Supermarket has been a supporter of the Coalition's armory plans, particularly because it seeks not to displace neighborhood businesses. "When a lot of people were leaving the Bronx in the 1960s, we chose to stay," he said. "We chose to stay here because we had respect for the neighborhood." 

Assemblyman Rivera, the Bronx Democratic Party leader, told the crowd he would like to see a three-screen movie complex as well as schools, shops and an athletic center.

A local resident, Enrique Polanco, said he thought schools should take priority. "I 
understand they are talking about stores, but the neighborhood is fine," he said. "I think schools would be a good idea."

For more information on the status of the armory, click here.

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