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

Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Boces Bob says:
"Under current zoning, the school can only erect a five-story schoolhouse...." I am not sure it could build even that. Didn't the apartment building on Quincy, which is on the same lot, use all of the air rights?
Feb. 22, 2017, 9:17 am
Tootie Doo says:
Too small - where are the kids supposed to be?!
Feb. 22, 2017, 10:17 am
Rich Uncle Pennybags from Marvin Gardens says:
Whom is Unity borrowing the money from to build this? ( I assume the board asked them?)
Feb. 22, 2017, 1:43 pm
Robert Perris from Community Board 2 says:
In response to a committee question about financing, the head of school replied, "government subsidy and fundraising."
Feb. 22, 2017, 7:44 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
I say build this school and then bomb it and kill everyone inside. That will teach them a good lesson!
Feb. 22, 2017, 9:27 pm
samir kabir from cobble hill says:
If you see something, say something. Morris from Mill Basin is encouraging violence.
Feb. 23, 2017, 4:48 am
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Isn't there a reason for zoning limitations?
Feb. 24, 2017, 12:34 am
neighbor from Clinton Hill says:
I'm against the construction of this massive 7 story building, zoning limitations where enacted to help preserve the character of our neighborhoods. This charter school should be built somewhere else where a building of this bulk is allowed.
Feb. 24, 2017, 12:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't get why 7 floors are needed for a building that is going to be a charter school, plus they better not be using any public money for this since they don't serve the public to begin with.
Feb. 24, 2017, 3:51 pm
Homeowner at Lexington from Clinton Hill says:
Brooklyn paper! You need to moderate this group!!! As someone above just said, Morris, above just publicly threatened this place.!
April 10, 2017, 10 pm

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