New York City plans to use a Coney Island elementary school's detached gym building to temporarily house some of the asylum seekers expected to arrive in the city, an NY Department of Education official told CNN on Friday.
The standalone gym at the Michael E. Berdy School for the Arts, or PS 188, will be used on a temporary basis, as the building is not connected to the school and is not currently being used, the DOE official said.
The gym has a capacity of housing 100 individuals but no one is currently at the location, New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan told CNN. It’s unclear whether the facility will be used to house migrant single men or children and families, Brannan added.
In a statement Friday, Brooklyn Community Board 13 said the borough “was given no advance notice” that the school was going to be used to house asylum seekers.
“The CB 13 office staff has been struggling all day to get the most basic information from various agencies regarding how many people will be housed there, for what length of time, whether the individuals have been screened for communicable diseases, what measures are in place to provide services, etc.”
“This is not acceptable,” the statement continues. “The community must be informed about this process and CB 1`3 should be part of those discussions.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city is working on opening respite centers and emergency shelters every day but noted it is running out of space.
"We will continue to communicate with local elected officials as we open more emergency sites," Adams said in a statement, according to his spokesperson Fabien Levy.
CNN’s Nicki Brown contributed reporting.