Overcrowding Task Force requests Tweed tour

Members of NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s School Overcrowding Task Force have requested a tour of the Tweed Courthouse’s six ground-floor classrooms.

Specifically, task force member Paul Hovitz asked the NYC Department of Education’s Portfolio Planning director, Elizabeth Rose, to facilitate a tour of Innovate Manhattan, a charter school that is temporarily sited at Tweed this year until the school finds a permanent home elsewhere; as well as a tour of the rest of the four-story building that houses D.O.E.’s headquarters.

“I’d be happy to arrange for the executive director to meet with folks,” said Rose in response. “I’m sure the executive director of Innovate would be delighted to have guests come.”

At the task force meeting, Rose also relayed details about the Peck Slip School expansion. The elementary school will incubate at Tweed next year, at two classes per grade, and have four classes per grade when it moves into One Peck Slip in 2015.

When asked whether there is additional classroom space for the Peck Slip students at Tweed, Rose said, ‘No.’

“The seventh room on the ground floor is now used as the Chancellor’s conference room, and receives pretty heavy rotation,” said Rose.

Even if the conference room was converted into a classroom, she noted, Tweed would run out of space for incoming students by the year 2014, and a grade of the school would have to be located elsewhere.

“It wouldn’t even add enough space for truly expanding the sections per grade in the course of the incubation,” said Rose. “We know sending children to two different schools [has the] real potential to have complexity for families.”