The City Pitted Kids Against Artists in the East Village

. . . And the kids lost the battle of P.S. 122

Spokespeople for the ACS and the Department of Cultural Affairs vehemently deny that allegation.

Of course, there were reasons for the CLDCC to be unhappy. The city initially offered to find it a new home, but the proposal would have split the center into two locations, both of them outside the East Village—which, despite the recent gentrification, still has a major need for affordable day-care centers.

Despite the profusion of luxury apartments and construction cranes, Community District 3 is still a hodgepodge of immigrant communities, from Alphabet City to Chinatown. In Community District 3, where P.S.122 is located, there are 14 ACS center-based programs, two family child-care networks, and 14 Head Start centers. There are also 47 private child-care centers whose tuitions are comparable to small colleges.

Williams says that the CLDCC's own search for new space was futile: "There is no room for us in the East Village," he says. "One space we did apply for, we were outbid by the Blue Man Group. They are starting a kindergarten—tuition is $20,000."

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