High-school high: Charter wants to build seven-story schoolhouse in Clinton Hill

Unity Prepatory School's planned 10-story building.
Rainer Schrom

It is higher education.

A charter school wants to construct a seven-story high school on a Clinton Hill lot zoned for shorter structures, and its proposal got top marks from Community Board 2’s land-use committee last week.

Members voted 10–0 with one abstention to okay Unity Preparatory Charter School’s plan to build a 400-kid learning institution at 32 Lexington Ave. between Grand and Classon avenues, on land owned by housing advocacy group Impacct Brooklyn.

Under current zoning, the school can only erect a five-story schoolhouse set back from the street, and it is seeking the city’s tick of approval to build two floors higher and closer to the sidewalk.

Unity Prep started as a middle school in 2013 and has been growing by one grade every year. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders share space with PS 44 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but ninth graders have to schlep to another shared space in Brownsville, its founder told the committee.

He wants a dedicated schoolhouse in the area so high-school pupils can keep taking advantage of its programs with local institutions such as Pratt Institute and the Brooklyn Museum.

“We have a lot of partners in the area and this would only allow us to further our vision for this school for our kids so they get to experience what Brooklyn has to offer in the area,” said Joshua Beauregard.

The committee members didn’t have much to say about the proposal, quickly approving it after posing just a few questions about the function of the new school.

The application will now go before the full community board at its next meeting on March 8. The board’s decision is only advisory, however, and the Board of Standards and Appeals will have the final say.

If approved, Beauregard said his team plans to have the high school up and running in two years.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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