The council voted 38-10 in favor of the plan for the school, slated for a site on 58th Avenue and 74th Street. Three council members were absent and did not vote.
The vote, which came at a stated council meeting, ends a long period of debate between the Department of Education (DOE) and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley who, along with Maspeth community leaders, have steadfastly called for the school to be locally zoned.
The DOE proposal approved by the city council does not include a local zoning provision, which would have guaranteed Maspeth teens enrollment priority.
“Let me clear, I want a school in Maspeth, but I cannot agree with this plan,” Crowley said in a statement after voting against the proposal, which drew no votes from nine other council members, including Councilmen Tony Avella and Peter Vallone.
Crowley criticized the DOE for pushing through a plan that did not receive support from community leaders in Maspeth.
“As the plan stands now it does not have the approval of the community education council, it does not have the approval of the community board, [and] it does not have the approval of the local civic association,” Crowley said.
Nonetheless Crowley- a vocal critic of the DOE’s citing and zoning policies since taking office this year- thanked other city officials for working unusually long on the project. Twice the city council and the DOE agreed to extend the review process to allow for more community input on the project.
“While I do not agree with Deputy Mayor Walcott and the Dept of Education policies,”said Crowley, “I do thank Deputy Mayor Walcott for his and the department’s focus over the past month on the Maspeth HS project.”