Community Board 5 (CB5) chair Vincent Arcuri said he and other board members met with representatives of the United Talmudic Seminary, located at 73-10 99th St., to discuss ways to create a more comfortable environment for their students.
“They’re interested in expanding and with different classrooms and more comfortable classrooms,” Arcuri said. “The objective would be to reduce the number of buses traveling back and forth, and figure out how to take care of all the students.”
Currently, the school has roughly 14 buses making the trip from Williamsburg every morning, according to Arcuri, bringing in so many students that there is only an estimated 23 inches of space per student.
He added that while the center has started the discussion for expansion, they mentioned they did not want the additional space to translate to more students.
“They don’t want to go over a certain number because if it’s too many students, then it’s no longer a great teaching venue,” he said.
While Yeshiva member Abraham Markowitz acknowledged discussions with the board to expand the center, he denied comment until a later date.
A spokesperson with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development said the landlord has not made any filings since February 2013.
“That was for the modification of an existing fire suppression system in the kitchen,” the spokesperson said.
Glendale Civic Association president and CB5 member Kathy Masi noted the center sits on potentially contaminated property and is a poor space for a school, so she is currently against the proposal.
“I think that I must be the only original opponent of building the yeshiva,” Masi said. “The other opponents are either in bed with them or working for elected officials or both.”
Masi also noted the yeshiva's close proximity to a proposed 125-family transitional housing facility on Cooper Avenue.
“They are just not looking at the bigger picture down the line,” she said.