In the Summer of 2013, the School Construction Authority’s (SCA) plans for a high school at the Whitestone Jewels site was met with strong opposition from the surrounding community. Councilmember Paul Vallone, with the support of neighbors and groups, such as the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association, led a protest rally to voice opposition to this plan. Petitions were circulated and in the end, Vallone hand delivered more than 500 signatures from residents to the School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo.
On April 17, at a briefing for the Queens Delegation, Grillo finally confirmed that the SCA is officially no longer pursuing the Whitestone Jewels site for a possible high school. She cited the very concerns that the residents voiced all summer as reasons for abandoning these plans: a lack of local infrastructure and transportation to support a high school; strong concerns about the negative effects the school would have on their quality of life; and objections from Vallone.
“I am thrilled to hear that the SCA is no longer pursuing this site,” said Vallone. “Even after handing in hundreds of petition signatures, I never stopped pushing the SCA to commit to abandoning this plan. This is a major victory for our area, not because we do not support or need another high school in our district, but because the SCA has clearly taken local input and concerns into their consideration. I now look forward to working hand in hand with the city, the DOE and the SCA to examine the entirety of our district to determine a new location for a high school in District 19.”
See full article at Queens Gazette.