| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    On Monday, the steps of the Tweed Courthouse became the temporary battleground for supporters and opponents of Hunter College"s expansion plan. Students and parents from the Julia Richman Education Complex gathered with community leaders and elected officials to voice their opposition to Hunter"s plan to build a new science center where their school currently stands. In response, Hunter sent students to rally and distributed fact sheets about the plan. This latest encounter comes two years after Hunter first suggested moving Julia Richman to Hunter"s Brookdale campus, on First Avenue and East 25th Street, in exchange for the school"s land on East 67th Street near Second Avenue. According to Hunter"s fact sheet, the swap would provide the college with an updated science and health center close to its main East 68th Street campus, while giving Julia Richman a new building at no cost. Douglas Jones, Hunter"s executive director of external affairs, described the plan as â??a win-win for everyone given the economy and will help Hunter â??solidify the campus so there is cross-pollination for liberal arts students to take science classes and vice-versa. But parents, students and faculty at the six small schools currently inside the Julia Richman complex vehemently oppose the plan. â??You don"t destroy one public institution to build another, said Jane Hirschmann, a member of the Save JREC committee. â??If something is working so well, why would you get rid of it? Hirschmann, who has had children attend both Julia Richman and Hunter, said the move would not only be negative for students, but also the community, which often uses the complex for events. The Department of Education issued a statement in response to the rallies: â??We continue to meet with Hunter to make sure we are providing a good education to the students of the Julia Richman Education Complex. Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein