Mayor Eric Adams insisted Tuesday morning that migrants being housed in school gyms is only a possibility — despite photos this week showing beds set up inside several Brooklyn gymnasiums and principals warning their parents about the move.
Adams maintained that the city has not yet become so inundated with migrants that they need to be housed in school gyms, saying those who were photographed in a Brooklyn gymnasium over the weekend were there for only “a few hours.”
About 4,200 migrants arrived in the Big Apple last week, and another 15 buses are expected this weekend.
“We have 20 stand-alone gymnasiums throughout the city that are not part of the school building. They are on the list of potential locations we may have to use,” Adams told PIX 11.
“We’re not there yet, but we need a list to be prepared so that if this influx continues, we can accommodate.”
Adams’ claim of “potential locations” comes after at least 75 migrants were at least temporarily held at PS 188 in Coney Island on Sunday.
The principal of the school had alerted parents in a letter Friday that the school was chosen as one of the “emergency, temporary sites to house individuals and families who are seeking asylum” in the city.
Migrants were photographed laying across green cots and milling around outside the stand-alone Brooklyn gymnasium before they were apparently whisked away to an old abandoned school in Staten Island.
“The one in Brooklyn, we were able to find other locations for those migrant asylum-seekers,” Adams said. “The time frame we needed was a few hours. We needed a few hours and were able to shift them to a different location.
“While we’re waiting to do that shifting you need a place to put people.”
It’s unclear how long the migrants were held on Coney Island this weekend and if the outrage their presence caused was part of the reason they were quickly sent off to Staten Island.
“The building on Staten Island was a closed school that was about to be demolished. The school was closed,” Adams said.
The former Richard H. Hungerford School on Tompkins Avenue in Staten Island was set up to receive at least 300 migrants Saturday, though it’s unclear if that is the location the migrants housed at Coney Island were taken Sunday.
At least six Brooklyn schools have been prepped to start temporarily housing migrants inside their gyms, including MS 577 in Williamsburg, which shares a gym with PS 17, as well as PS 18 and PS 132 in Williamsburg, PS 172 in Sunset Park and PS 189 near Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
PS 17, 18, 132 and 172 all house kindergarten through fifth-grade students, while PS 189 has students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
As of Monday, cots had been set up inside the MS 577 and PS 17 gym, with the first busload of migrants expected to arrive Tuesday, parents told The Post.
MS 577 Principal Maria Masullo said in a letter to parents Sunday the impact of housing of migrants on school property would be minimal.
Some incensed parents said they still will be rallying outside the school building to protest.
Adams has repeatedly said the city is running out of options as migrants continue to swarm the city after last week’s termination of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allowed for the quick expulsion of some asylum-seekers over COVID-19 concerns.
City Hall has also faced uproar over its plan to bus migrants staying in city shelters to hotels just outside of the five boroughs, in Rockland and Orange counties. More than 80 migrants – all single men — were shipped to Newburgh hotels in Orange County last week.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus filed lawsuits Friday to stop the hotels from housing migrants, and Rockland County also took legal action to halt the city’s plan.