The Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Jackson Heights Green Alliance are facilitating an emergency community meeting about the Expansion of Travers Park / Garden School field.Please come out to get an update and plan future actions on this very important community issue.Please join us:
Wednesday, January 26th 8pm
Community Methodist Church
81-10 35th Avenue
A timeline of events so far
The Garden School, a prestigious private school that has been serving Jackson Heights since 1923, has a playing field attached to the school which they are looking to sell in order to raise funds. For a number of years, the school has been with an increasingly large deficit between operating costs and income.
In the beginning of 2010 Councilmember Danny Dromm was approached by the Garden School to consider the city’s interest in purchasing the playing field.
In May and June, 2010 Councilmember Dromm orchestrated a series of meeting between the Parks Department and the Garden School to consider the viability of this option.
On July 1st, 2010 Councilmember Dromm secured $4M from the city’s capital budget in conjunction with $1M from Borough President Helen Marshall to enable the Department of Parks to buy the land as an extension to Travers Park.
The Garden School and the city were in general agreement to move forward with the city purchasing the land. In late September Councilmember Dromm was informed by the school that they would need the money much sooner than expected. An unexpected drop in enrollment this academic year has made the situation more critical. Since the city must follow the 6-18 month long ULURP process the Garden School’s cash flow needs made a deal with the city more problematic. As a result, the school put the playing field on the market, listing it for $5.25M
Councilmember Danny Dromm, in partnership with the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Jackson Heights Green Alliance worked on securing the Garden School bridge financing to help cover the school’s expenses until the city completed the ULURP process.
The Garden School informed Councilmember Dromm last week that the school’s board of directors had voted to not pursue the city’s offer. The city was not offered the opportunity to counter-bid.