Petition organizers call for renovations at historic Erasmus Academy building

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FLATBUSH, Brooklyn — If Lin-Manuel Miranda can update the Alexander Hamilton story and make it feel very 21st century in the Broadway show, "Hamilton," why can't the city make a school founded by Alexander Hamilton feel similarly useful and contemporary.

That's what the organizers of a petition drive are asking.

"The building needs to be transferred to any agency other than the Department of Education," Karen Ansis, a petition organizer said. "We need another agency to make the necessary repairs and to find another user of the building," Ansis added.

The Erasmus Academy building dates back to 1787. It's a wood frame, clapboard, Georgian-federal style structure that sits right in the middle of the campus of the Erasmus Hall High School off Flatbush Avenue. And for the last 15 years it has just stood there, deserted and deteriorating.

"We want the mayor to transfer the responsibility of rebuilding it and fixing it up to another agency," Robin Sherman-Epstein, one of the petition organizers, told PIX11 News.

"As it stands now, the DOE has not done anything and we can't get them to," she added.

And now a group has created a petition campaign and collected more than 1,600 signatures from Erasmus alums like Barbara Streisand to bring back the academy building to its former glory.

Their goal is make the proud Erasmus graduates even more proud.

"There are nonprofits throughly Brooklyn that may love to have a headquarters here," Ansis said.

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