17, No. 3
29 - Feb. 11, 2004
On King Holiday, Push for Education at Armory
By DAVID GREENE
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
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
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
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