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Governors Island maritime school needs a functional pool, politicians say

The pool could also be made available to summer visitors when school is not in session, according to State Sen. Brian Kavanagh.

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island should have a fully-functional pool for students who currently have to commute to Bushwick, politicians say. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / ferrantraite

The maritime school on Governors Island is supposed to offer top-pier sailing training, but without a pool on their campus, city, state and federal officials say the students are adrift.

A coalition of leaders, including State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, sent a letter to the city Department of Education calling for them to fund and create a pool at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

Students who attend the public high school — particularly those in the professional diving program — must trek to a pool in Bushwick twice a week to complete their curriculum.

Kavanagh said he has received several complaints from concerned parents regarding the burdensome commute.

“It seems to me if you’re teaching kids to work in maritime industries, it should be a basic curriculum that they know how to swim and you need a pool for that, ” he said.

A representative for the Trust for Governors Island said they welcome the proposal.

“We are proud to have the Harbor School on Governors Island and are in full support of the school’s expansion efforts, as well as identifying a site for a pool for students to utilize,” the trust said in a statement.

Representatives from the Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority had not issued a comment by Wednesday evening.

The school, which has an enrollment of 432 students, opened in 2003 in Bushwick and moved to Building 550 on Governors Island in 2010. The island does have an above-ground pool, but Kavanagh said it hasn’t been used in decades and would be costly to renovate.

He and the other elected officials said the students wouldn’t be the only ones taking advantage of the pool. They suggested opening it to summer visitors when the school is closed.

“We assume there would be a lot of interest,” he said.


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