Green Favors Schools in Kingsbridge Armory
By JORDAN MOSS
Mayoral candidate Mark Green, the city's public advocate, traveled to the Bronx on Aug. 11 to declare his support for building schools in the Kingsbridge Armory. Green met with a small group of leaders from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition at their 196th Street headquarters to discuss the armory and his plans for education in general.
The coalition, in collaboration with Pratt Institute, drafted a proposal that includes schools and recreational facilities in the armory. But Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration has been trying to realize its own plan for a shopping mall and athletic facilities in the landmark building.
But Green said if he was elected, he would nix the Giuliani plan and include an intermediate school and a high school in the armory, for a total of 1800 seats.
In a press conference in front of the armory after the meeting, Green linked his stance on the armory to an attack on the state's building aid formula, which he said favored suburban school districts.
"Something's wrong when the state is reimbursing affluent suburbs almost 80 percent of school construction costs and New York City - with its class size crisis - is only reimbursed 5 percent," Green said at the press conference. "The governor needs to go back to the drawing board to create a formula that factors in the added costs of building in cities."
Of course, Green will have to become mayor to do anything with the Kingsbridge Armory. But he expressed confidence he would prevail, joking with the group in the coalition's office that he could have his inauguration in the Kingsbridge Armory. Realizing that Jan. 1 might be a tad soon, he suggested that maybe the armory would be ready for his second inaugural on Jan. 1, 2006.
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