BY LUIS GRONDA
While the future of the site that could house the Glendale homeless shelter is still up in the air, it appears that the area will not be home to a school.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Middle Village) sent out a statement saying that he met with Deputy Mayor for Human and Health Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli and Dept. of Homeless Services Commissioner earlier this week about the Glendale homeless shelter proposal.
In an interview with the Queens Tribune about the meeting, he said that Barrios-Paoli told him that a school at the site is not feasible.
“They looked at it, they considered it, it’s not going to happen,” Addabbo said the Deputy Mayor said during that meeting.
Elected officials who represent that area such as Addabbo and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) have been staunchly against building the shelter there for myriad reasons, including questions over how safe the site is for a shelter and concerns from residents about people who would live in the facility being in the community.
Crowley, in particular, has been pushing for the site to be used as a school rather than a shelter and has called on the School Construction Authority to purchase the land where the shelter would be built, as well as acres of land adjacent to the abandoned site to create a college-campus like area for the would-be school.
In a statement emailed to the Tribune, Crowley said she remains committed to opening a new school at the Cooper Avenue location.
“The DOE should not be quick to write off this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain nine acres of land in the heart of Glendale. It’s a chance to give our children the education and classroom space they deserve, and another one like it may never come again,” she said in the statement.
Addabbo also said that the two of them told him that there will be an announcement in January to detail another conversation about the future of the Glendale site.
The State Senator said that any action taking place at the site is more than a year away because the City is reevaluating the site, taking into account concerns that elected officials and residents have about putting the shelter there.
DHS and Mayor de Blasio’s office did not respond to requests for comment about the meeting or about the future discussion about that site before press time.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.