Menin says Port’s interested in W.T.C. school

The Port Authority will consider building a middle school at the new World Trade Center, Community Board 1 chairperson Julie Menin said.

Kenneth Ringler, Jr., executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the Trade Center site, told Menin that he would consider building a new middle school for Lower Manhattan in Trade Center Tower 5. “He was very supportive of the idea,” said Menin at a recent C.B. 1 meeting.

Tower 5 will rise where the Deutsche Bank building now stands at 130 Liberty St. Deutsche Bank was contaminated and damaged on 9/11 and is now being cleaned and demolished.

The community has long been advocating for a new middle school for the neighborhood. The district has been flooded with new residents since Sept. 11, 2001 as office buildings have converted to residential condos and new residential towers have sprouted. Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff described the neighborhood as the fastest growing in the city with a birthrate that has increased by 250 percent since 1991. “We have a population explosion,” Menin told Downtown Express. “Our population has doubled, where are these children going to go to school?”

Menin first fielded the idea of a school in Tower 5 to Doctoroff in June. At the time, he told her he would put together a team to look at the idea, she said. A few days later Doctoroff gave his own version of the conversation, telling reporters that he’d merely had a “brief, brief conversation” with Menin about the idea and that there were budget constraints to consider.

Menin isn’t hedging her bets on Tower 5 — she described landing a school there as an “uphill battle” — and is also looking at Site 2B in Battery Park City, the site of a planned Museum of Women’s History. The museum, a project of First Lady Libby Pataki and Lynn Rollins, an advisor to Governor George Pataki, has never materialized in the six years since it was announced.

—Ronda Kaysen

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