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rugby X-men are super, p. 27 Volume 82, Number 47 $1.00 West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Hudson Square, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933 April 25 - May 1, 2013 Lots of new ideas pitched for Astor/ Cooper renovation By LincoLn Anderson Should a redesigned Astor Place and Cooper Square have more skateboarding, new digital “wayfinding” kiosks and ping-pong tables, plus movies with the audience all listening in via wireless headphones? Or, should most of the above uses be avoided so the revamped area doesn’t become a place where people come to hang out — only inevitably to “freak out”? And what will happen to Photo by Tequila Minsky Invasion of the bike-share docks A man pondered a new Citi Bike information kiosk at MacDougal and Prince Sts., where bike-share docks were recently installed. The bike docks are popping up all over Downtown. The program is expected to kick off as soon as the end of this month. Scaled-down dorm pitched for embattled CHARAS site By sArAH ferGuson Ten years ago, developer Gregg Singer stirred up a fury of opposition when he proposed razing the old P.S. 64 school building on E. Ninth St. to put up a 19-story dormitory tower. Now Singer is pitching a downscaled dorm plan to house up to 529 students in the existing turn-of-the century school building, which was landmarked in 2006, after community members mobilized to block him from tearing it down. Last time, the city refused to approve Singer’s dormitory tower because he did not have any actual leases with schools or universities to show proof of an “institutional nexus” for the property, which is zoned for community facility use. The courts upheld the city’s decision, saying Singer could not build an “onspec” dorm without any schools on board. This time, however, Singer says he’s confident his project “is going forward”— in large part because The Cooper Union has signed a 15-year lease to house up to 196 of its students on two of the build- ing’s five floors. “Cooper Union is our anchor tenant,” Singer said proudly of his revamped “stateof-the-art” dorm, dubbed “University House,” which he’s aiming to open in fall 2014. In an hour-long interview on Tuesday at the offices of The Villager, Singer presented digital images of the new dorm scheme, showing students lounging in tree-shaded courtyards on the Ninth and the iconic Mudtruck? Will it morph into a mere “shell” of its former self? And could that actually be the best possible outcome? These questions and ideas and more were considered by about 70 people who turned out last Thursday for a “placemaking” workshop for the city’s fast-approaching renovation of Astor Place and Cooper Square. Many were parents of Continued on page 9 A vision emerges: One middle school at 75 Morton St. By LincoLn Anderson The West Village is getting a building to convert into a school at 75 Morton St. This much is known. But, first, the big questions that need to be answered are: What grade levels and how many schools should the building include? A group of local school parents has hired its own facilitator and held three meetings to consider what would be the Continued on page 14 5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC best fit for the building, and for Community School District 2, as a whole. At Monday evening’s meeting of the 75 Morton Task Force, this group presented their findings thus far in a report on their “envisioning process.” Basically, the envisioning group thinks the best use for 75 Morton St. would be as one middle school with 900 students, from grades 6 to 8. Continued on page 2 editoRiAl, letteRS PAGE 10 FRAckinG SpellS tRouble PAGE 13

The Villager, April 25, 2013

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