Ravitch, Brodsky to assess Yonkers schools partnership

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YONKERS — An independent commission studying the school system’s plans for a public-private partnership to rebuild its crumbling schools will release findings today that could determine whether the city supports the idea.

Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and former state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Greenburgh, who lead the commission, are due to present their findings on the project’s financial prospects Wednesday morning at Yonkers City Hall.

Their conclusions are seen as crucial in influencing  Mayor Mike Spano’s stance on the project, which can advance only if the city and state Legislature agree to support it long term.

A Spano spokeswoman was unable to provide details on the commission’s findings late Tuesday.

Yonkers Public Schools officials have been planning a $1.7 billion public-private partnership, known as a P3, for several years, seeing no other ways to finance desperately-needed repairs at its aging, overcrowded schools. They have said traditional borrowing methods may not suffice.

Under a P3, a group of investors and private companies would contract to build or renovate and then operate city-owned schools for a period of years. The private group would receive a set monthly fee to be paid in some combination of city and state dollars.

Yonkers would be the first U.S. public school system to rebuild and refurbish schools using a P3.

A group of private consultants chosen by the district to assess the project’s feasibility produced a report in March that supported an initial phase affecting six schools at a cost of up to $1 billion.

At that point, Spano tapped the commission to analyze the consultants’ report.

Check Lohud.com Wednesday for updates.

 

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