BY THE VILLGE SUN | Outraged Villagers are ready to march on Wednesday afternoon against a towering symbol of local power. They’re destination isn’t the infamous Bastille, though, but Bobst Library — the nexus of New York University’s administration. Yet, they’re at least as angry, if not more so, than those bloodthirsty French revolutionaries of yore.
Thousands of local residents want to save the Morton Williams supermarket, at Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place, from being demolished — more than 8,500 have signed a petition — so that the School Construction Authority can build a new public school on the prime corner. The idea of “co-locating” a new school and an eventually rebuilt supermarket at the site is also opposed by the Save Our Supermarket group, too, since it would necessarily take the critical full-service, 24/7 market offline for a few years, at least.
Meanwhile, the city has a deadline of the end of this year — with just a few months left — to decide if it even wants a new school at the contentious corner. It’s unclear, though, if the local school district even needs the seats.
It was N.Y.U. more than 10 years ago that promised to provide a space in its future (and now recently completed) 181 Mercer St. building on the same block, in the event the public school project ever went forward. Somehow that commitment was quietly dropped from the rezoning’s final restrictive declaration — and the new N.Y.U. Paulson Center was built at 181 Mercer, though without any space for retail uses.
S.O.S. wants the supermarket to stay and the school, should it be green-lighted, to go in an N.Y.U. or city-owned property.