Millennium shopping for space

Millennium High School, which holds some classes in hallways due to overcrowding, is looking for more space at 26 Broadway.

“It would be a campus model: there would be two small schools, and they would share resources,” said Millennium Principal Robert Rhodes, who is drafting a proposal this week to send to the Department of Education. Rhodes made a presentation at last week’s Community Board 1 Youth and Education Committee. The board voted 14-0 in favor of allocating the space to Millennium.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is also pushing the D.O.E. to hand over the space to Millennium high school. In a letter to Chancellor Joel Klein, Silver deems Millennium “a great success story following the tragic events of September 11th. The school, however, is vastly oversubscribed compared to the number of available seats.”

Silver continues, “Over the past two years, I, and members of my School Overcrowding Task Force, have made it clear to DOE staff that much of the 26 Broadway space should be used to address the need for additional school seats for this fast-growing community. To date, the DOE has instead relocated middle and high school students from other areas. The time has come for the DOE to use this last space to fulfill our local Lower Manhattan needs for high school seats, which our community can and will use.”

“Knowing how hard it is to get in here, and how many families apply, the idea of a new school is very exciting,” said Angela Benfield, parent coordinator of Millennium H.S.

As for resorting to the school’s hallway lounges for classroom space, “We’d like to have everyone in a classroom.”

“I don’t know if [a new school] could eliminate the use of lounge space, but it could hopefully stop the [overcrowding] problem from getting any worse,” she said.

— Aline Reynolds