Updated to include quote and link from Borough President’s Press Release
During Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr’s State of the Borough address today, he publicly called upon the city to issue a new Request for Proposal for PS 31 and to truly explore whether or not it needs to be demolished.
It seems the Borough President has listened to our cries for the building to be salvaged since our petition to save the building was addressed to him among others.
Diaz called it a disgrace that the city let the school fall into such repair.
According to the press release from the Bronx Borough President’s office issued after the address:
The southern Grand Concourse was also discussed at length, as Borough President Diaz called on the city to issue a new request for proposals for the P.S. 31 site, and to continue to explore whether or not the existing building could be saved.
“It is an absolute disgrace that the City allowed P.S. 31, one of the most iconic school buildings in our city and my own alma mater, to fall into such disrepair that it is scheduled to be torn down,” said Borough President Diaz. “With that said, it is time for innovation. The city must issue a new RFP for the P.S. 31 site. This RFP should examine whether or not the building can be saved, and should also explore a wide variety of uses for the site in order to stimulate street life and blend in with the neighborhood.”
As you know, Welcome2TheBronx has been a big advocate for saving PS 31 and even caught the attention of the New York Times who subsequently wrote an article about it.
We made a lot of noise and the media took notice. Our petition which has been signed by almost 800 supporters (if you haven’t signed it, please do!) was instrumental in getting the attention of Landmarks Preservation Commission and used in their decision to deny Department of Building’s request to strip the beloved school of its landmark status so that it could be demolished.
The department of buildings cited safety concerns and said the building probably couldn’t withstand another weather event yet PS 31 still stands with all the record snow that had fallen this winter while buildings across the city have suffered roof collapses — newer structures which had no history of safety concerns.
Lower Concourse Waterfront District
As you know, PS 31 sits amid the rezoned Lower Concourse District which went from manufacturing to residential.
The borough president has also called for the creation of a waterfront district in the area stretching from 138th Street up to 149th Street.
More details on this as they are released.