Members of Community District Education Council 22 (CEC 22) convened virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, July 5th to elect a new slate of officers and obtain updates on the potential expansion of a severely overcrowded school.
Members voted unanimously to elect Oluwaseun Salako as the new CEC 22 President, making him the first male to lead the group in over six years. Florence Wang was elected 1st Vice President, Andrew Kleynerman was elected Treasurer and Holly Spiegel was elected Secretary. The group also voted to approve their preliminary budget for the 2022-2023 school year and to amend their bylaws to allow for a hybrid model for future meetings.
The real crux of the meeting, however, lied upon the issue of building an addition to P.S./I.S. 206, located at 2200 Gravesend Neck Road, that would provide a projected 540 seats to the school, which is currently operating at 150% capacity. District 22 Superintendent Julia Bove, P.S./I.S. 206 Principal Ellen Quigley, NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) Director of External Affairs Zeeshan Ott and Senior Director of Brooklyn Planning Jamie Dollinger all spoke on the subject and reiterated many of the same points. They agreed that according to enrollment trends and patterns, it has become clear that overcrowding is an issue that cannot be fully addressed by merely rezoning a few blocks’ worth of students to surrounding area schools.
With the population of the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood in which the school is located is absolutely exploding due in part to the constant construction of new mega apartment buildings and a recent influx of Ukrainian refugees residing with relatives and compatriots, the number of students expected to enroll in area schools is expected to continue to increase well into the foreseeable future. Quigley explained that the addition would merely allow her to reclaim many of the crucial spaces she has had to sacrifice in order to keep class sizes down, like a main office, auditorium, art studio, science lab and so forth. It would allow the school to offer lunch to students at more regular times and make it possible to offer Pre-K programs.
The SCA advised that they are in the very early stages of the approval process and have yet to begin the planning and design phase. The organization expects to complete the project by September 2026 and assured those in attendance that they would be kept abreast of all developments.
Incoming President Oluwaseun Salako