Abandoned City Construction Project Bars Off Brooklyn Schoolyard

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN — Feeling anxious about sending her third-grader back to class amid a pandemic, Martha Pearson got a bit of relief in August when New York City gave the go-ahead for schools to hold class outside.

There was just one problem — half the outdoor space at her daughter’s school had been turned into a fenced-off construction site.

“Those announcements were kind of on the heels of each other, like, ‘You can do outdoor schooling, but there’s this,'” Pearson said, recalling an August note from P.S. 9’s principal about the schoolyard construction. “So, how is our outdoor space going to work?”

The anxiety only got worse when Pearson and other parents were told that a massive hole dug for the project — started to fix stormwater issues — wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Despite only starting the work in August, the city had paused nearly all non-emergency

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