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Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 4:05 AM
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Here we go again...(amny)

Governors Island weighs new look

By Michael Clancy
November 14, 2006

The first tenant of the new Governors Island could be the New York Harbor School, a specialized public high school that teaches children about maritime issues and history, city officials announced Monday.

The school, currently landlocked in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, now holds the distinction of being the first institution invited to move to the 172-acre island since the city took control of the former military base in 2003 through a deal with the federal government.

"It's a really positive thing," said Robert Pirani, of the Governors Island Alliance, a coalition of nonprofit groups formed to ensure the island is used properly. "It sets the tone for the island as being a place for New York City, for being about education, for being about the harbor -- as opposed to being a casino, which has nothing to do with those things."

The move will need to be approved by the island's development agency and the Department of Education.

"We are just thrilled," said Murray Fisher, the harbor school's program director. "To be located in the middle of New York harbor, it's a dream come true."

Meanwhile, the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., the state agency created to redevelop and operate the island, said Monday that it is going back to the drawing board to pick a development partner. The agency will not accept any proposals from 10 finalists -- from a Nickelodeon theme park to a CUNY campus -- selected after the agency requested proposals in February.

Instead, the agency wants design firms to come up with a plan to develop 25 to 40 acres of parkland on the southwest portion of the island, and a 2.2-mile waterfront promenade encircling the island, said Leslie Koch, the president of the Governors Island corporation.

"The next and most important step is the creation of the new park and the promenade on the island," Koch said. "We expect over time for it to become home to a diverse array of commercial and not-for-profit enterprises."

As many as five of the park proposals will be chosen and put on exhibit by next summer before a final plan is chosen.

The agency is also studying the feasibility of connecting the island with lower Manhattan and Brooklyn through aerial gondolas.

Great Promenade rendering. Courtesy Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation.

Summer Park rendering.

NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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