The story: Whether you're a parent or not, you've probably noticed the cute nursery school next the Lincoln Road entrance to the Prospect Park station. It's called Maple Street School, and it couldn't be in a better location for working parents AND for its next door access to Prospect Park for the kiddies. It's a "coop school," which means parents provide a ton of support for the school to try to keep costs reasonably low (still more than daycare though) and are involved in all decision-making. Oh, and logging lots of hours on committees. Not unlike the Park Slope Food Coop, bless its soul.
The school started in a parent's house 30 years ago, and after a number of moves it landed in the unused western chunk of the subway station, in 2001. The school did all the necessary renovations in exchange for an enviable lease arrangement, and while it's quite small, it's a great space for little ones and a cheery home for families. A vid about the school and its need for signatures:
Later this year, an RFP will go out from the MTA to potential new lease-holders for the space as Maple Street's lease expires. Needless to say, the school very much wants to stay put. The fear is that a for-profit enterprise could bid higher, and Maple Street would be out. And while the MTA is obliged to favor top offers, there is a stipulation that extra weight be given to groups with special benefits to the community. This isn't to say Maple Street can't pay its way - it will put in a bid alright, and parents will chip in whatever extra is needed to make that happen. It's a coop after all, and you do what you got to do to keep the ball rolling.
It would be a sad day indeed if MSS had to vacate its space. Won't you please consider signing the petition? Your name will join others going to elected officials and the MTA decision makers.