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Local Civic Organization Petitions to Convert Court Square Parking Structure into Elementary School

A municipal lot at 45-40 Court Square West is being considered as the location of a new school. (Google Maps)

May 3, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

The Court Square Civic Association is calling on the School Construction Authority to take over a city-owned parking lot and build an elementary school on it.

The local civic organization started an online petition Thursday to garner support for the plan, which would see a PreK-5 school built at 45-40 Court Square West—the location of the Court Square Municipal Parking Garage that has 702 parking spaces.

The petition to date has more than 50 signatures.

Frank Wu, president of the Court Square Civic Association, says residents have grown frustrated with the SCA’s inability to secure a location in the area, which has seen massive residential growth with no neighborhood schools, spurring the organization to suggest its own plan.

“They have been unable to locate the appropriate building because of the design restrictions on what a school needs to be, there’s the height and the space,” Wu said. “They’ve had a couple private negotiations fall through.”

The civic association held a public panel-discussion meeting with the SCA last month and the agency said that it has been scouting for potential school locations in Court Square since 2017. The agency said it has faced challenges in finding and negotiating for an appropriate site.

Court Square Municipal Parking Garage lot is located behind the Courthouse (Google)

The SCA said in a statement yesterday that it is looking into the recommendation of the civic group and is continuing to look for a site.

State Senator Michael Gianaris says he has also reviewed the civic association’s plan and will discuss it when he meets with SCA Chief Lorraine Grillo in the coming days.

“More school space in Court Square is absolutely critical to keep up with the rapid growth of the neighborhood,” Gianaris said.

The active parking lot is currently operated by the Department of Transportation.The DOT could not be reached for comment.

The funds are available for a school. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio officially put $60 million in the 2020 budget to fund it.

Wu says that building the school on a city-owned lot would see a school go up faster–since it would avoid protracted negotiations with a property owner. The cost would also be less.

He does recognize that a lot of parking spaces would be lost. However, with several parking garages on the surrounding blocks, Wu says that the need for a school on the municipal property is much greater.

“There’s a plethora of other parking options in the area,” Wu said. “There really aren’t other options for elementary schools.”

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LIC Direct

How about a recreation center with swimming pool and Ice skating rink build parking underneath or above? Most people moving to this area are NOT having kids. A new building does not make a good school – NYC has some of the worse public education K- 8th grades in the country -a small contingent passes on to the Specialized High Schools, mostly White and Asian because the parents give a damn about their children’s education. You need to improve education at the lower levels in the places that need it most and expand the Charter Schools so they can go into poor, under served neighborhoods and improve the educational standards and expections – as public Bd of Ed schools have failed to do so for more than 50 years.

Too Many Bitchy People On Here to Name Myself

I think that the location is not great. Imagine the school moms in their SUV’s blocking each other and the entire, narrow street of Court Sq West, kids trying to cross busy Thompson Ave and some extreme traffic snarl-ups When there are problems with the bridge [frequent]. Build near LaGuardia Community College… there has got to be space there. The rear of Arris St Lofts not a good idea, sorry.

Ali. Abdalkwy.

Oh my god oh my God why do we elect this People. lol. When we Going to Learn Something from. our mistake. Never.

Bring PS 80 Back

PS 80, situated on Greenpoint Avenue between Bradley and Gale in the Blissville section of LIC was a school for many years before being converted to a religious school and then a motel in the 1980s.

Bob Jones AKA

What happened to the plan to eminent domain property for a school? The developers and politicians are quite literally pitting neighbor against neighbor over this well used, affordable parking garage.

LIC guy

I do work in Long Island and Brooklyn. I see a lot of cars driving into the place in the morning. This parking lot is super high demand for both inbound and outbound. Why get rid of something really needed for people live here? Find other place like around park?


I’d rather keep my parking spot here since our building lost its parking garage to Uber. There are two overnight garages in the neighborhood that have an astronomical waitlist. I’m good with parking here. School spaces are zoned into tower buildings with a tax credit so use one of those for a school.

Princess Vespa

You want to foresake education in a new, fresh building that was not built with pre turn of the century materials and blueprints so you all can park your Hondas???


You must be kidding. There is no parking as it is. How about the lot on Jackson Avenue. It has been vacant for about 10 years. There must be some other place in LIC to put it. The road on Court Square West looks like the surface of the moon , not paved in at least 16 years. Heavy Trucks pull into a adjacent garage. Some trucks idle even at night more than 3 minutes that is allowed. There is the Court next to it that needs parking also. Where do the supposed businesses that have not materialized because of high rents get to park. I guess that will kill any business that tries to come here. Find a place where a school can go someplace else. BAD BAD IDEA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop the Luxury condo building NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hopefully a luxury condo developer like Trump will stop luxury condo developers like Trump

Good thing you put a luxury condo developer in our nation’s highest office. Keep fighting “against” developers you giant hypocrite.

garage vs another high rise condo

how about we build a school in a location targeted for another high rise condo. With congestion pricing on the horizon! I would think we will need these garages in our area.


I know people who have cars because they live in the neighborhood (and have for longer than most) and they work in Long Island or other areas where it’s just easier to drive. Sometimes it takes over an hour to find parking after they get home. Whether people agree with having cars or not, the fact is, people have them. With all of the construction in the area, parking is really, really scarce. I agree there needs to be a school in Court Square, but disagree with using this garage. What about the empty lot on Jackson by the 7 train entrance where they’re proposing to build a Japanese hotel? Does the area really need that? Or what about using the space next to that where they’re proposing a 45-story apartment building? Maybe house the Court Sq. Library there with the school. Seems like there are other locations where this can be built.


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