New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Brendal Krisel

Upper East Side Patch Work Begins On New Upper East Side Pre-K Facility by Brendal Krisel

Work Begins On New Upper East Side Pre-K Facility

City Councilman Ben Kallos said years of advocacy from neighborhood parents and elected officials for more pre-k seats in the neighborhood is beginning to pay off.

"Seat by seat, class by class, and now building by building we are making sure the City opens up more pre-kindergarten seats so every four-year-old in my district can participate without commuting for an hour each way," Kallos said in a statement. "Thank you the School Construction Authority for starting the work on this much needed new facility."

Upper East Side Patch Queensboro Oval Will Not Become A Park, City Says by Brendal Krisel

Queensboro Oval Will Not Become A Park, City Says

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The Queensboro Oval will remain home to a sports facility — not a park — for at least another 10 years, according to the city Parks Department.

The Parks Department released a request for proposals in February seeking a partner to develop, operate and maintain a sports facility at the space located underneath the Queensboro Bridge on East 59th Street between First and York avenues. Community boards and elected officials representing the Upper East Side and East Midtown had advocated converting the space into a public park.

"For many months last year, NYC Parks engaged in an extensive dialogue with elected officials, community board members, local residents and those who have enjoyed tennis at the Queensboro Oval for the past 40 years, and determined that open to the public sports recreational use of this kind of space is the best, safest, and most accessible," Parks Department Spokeswoman Crystal Howard said in a statement. "We look forward to continued engagement with the public as we move forward."

The Queensboro Oval site is owned by the city Department of Transportation, which will not allow the construction of any permanent structures on the property, according to a Parks Department spokesperson. The inability to create permanent structures such as tree and shrub plantings or play equipment makes the site unfit for a traditional park space, the spokesperson said.