New school to go up in Woodside, to open in 2015

PS11 faces overcrowding problems

The city is building a 440-seat elementary school in Woodside, officials from the School Construction Authority and the Department of Education announced today.

The school, which will be located on 39th Ave (between 57th and 58th street), is schedule to open in the fall of 2015. Its construction comes at a time when PS11 in Woodside, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., is at 120% capacity.

The construction of the elementary school follows a series of discussions that councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has had with officials from the School Construction Authority since December. Until last week, it was still unknown whether authorities were going to expand PS11 or build a new school.

“Today’s announcement shows a commitment by both the School Construction Authority and the Department Of Education to address this [overcrowding] problem in our district,” Van Bramer said in a statement. “This agreement will not only give our children the adequate space that is needed to learn but will also alleviate the strain that has been put on schools in the surrounding area.”

Construction of the new school is expected to begin in the spring/summer of 2013. However, Van Bramer said he will push the School Construction Authority to expand PS11 as well.

The announcement of the Woodside school follows last year’s news that a new elementary school is going to be built in Sunnyside.  The Sunnyside elementary school, to be located between 43rd and 44th Streets (btw Queens Blvd and 47th Ave), is scheduled to open in Sept. 2014. Two schools in Long Island City, Van Bramer said, are also being constructed.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris said, “School overcrowding is a chronic problem that is reaching crisis levels. The construction of additional classroom space is welcome news that will help the children of Woodside obtain a more productive learning environment.”

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27 Responses to New school to go up in Woodside, to open in 2015

  1. Bliss & Skillman

    2015? By then, it'll probably be opening at 120% over capacity too!

  2. Pat

    Instead of building new schools why not just buy the Catholic school buildings that are closing and ready for school .. This would certainly keep the children in the same areas as they now are and avoid
    unnecessary travel for them.

    Shouldn't take too much to make these buildings ready.

    Just think of the tax dollars that could be saved ..

    Throwing another school into this area of 39th Av and 57 to 58th Sts
    just makes for more overcrowding .. Traffic dropping off and picking up kids now is horrible, just think how it will be if this new school is
    opened ..

    Doesn't anybody think the plan through .....

  3. rue43

    Of course they're going to waste taxpayers money building new schools when perfectly good ones stand empty because there's more kickbacks and corruption to be had that way. Follow the money.

  4. velociraptor

    Perhaps the city doesn't want to use the former Catholic schools because there might be some left-over Jesus teachings embedded in the walls and ceilings like asbestos waiting to poison all those budding young secular "progressivists".

  5. John K. Wilson

    We have a dearth of park space (the kind with grass and trees) and parking in Sunnyside and Woodside.
    Why not build subterranean parking garages where the new schools are to be built---3, 4, or 5 levels down---and put green park space on top? A level or two could be sold in advance (as individual parking spaces), to help finance the construction; and the rest could be rented by the hour, day, week, or month---to provide ongoing cash flow. Then, rent, or buy, the much needed (and already built) school space from the several Catholic schools that have closed recently. School over-crowding would be relieved immediately---not at some point in the future. My fellow commenters, above, believe this is a good idea; and, I have suggested this in the past.
    I believe this would meet the most needs, make the most number of people happy, and cost the least. It would still provide temporary construction jobs, permanent garage and park maintenance jobs, AND, it would generate taxes for the city---taxes on parking, as well as payroll taxes.

  6. James Prender

    People are actually very stupid. After 2005, and the first round of selling schools by the Catholic Church; policies changed, every school in contract between 2006 and onward was rented with a 30 year contract for quite a bit of cash. The Diocese still owns all property that the DOE rents, and smart, money minded real estate agents from the Diocese made iron clad contracts. In any event, the public schools score far less on all state tests. IT was PR BS from Bloomberg to keep himself in office. The Colleges had to come up with core standards because after a decade of low scoring and poor teaching, most public school students can't get into or maintain a 3.0 index.

  7. RF

    Wait wait wait Velociraptor's old man grumbling actually gave me an idea. Why don't Pastor Storck and all the other "oppressed" churches getting kicked out of the schools rent space from St. Raphael's? This would generate money to help keep the school open and give the churches places to worship. It's a win win for everyone.

    Even the super-extremist NRO should be ok with this, or is he going to demand every female student wear a chastity belt?

  8. farork

    the schools are crowded because they bus kids 150 is full of buses every morning bringing them in

  9. velociraptor


    I doubt very much that the fees paid by the Grace Fellowship are much compared to the cost of running a Catholic school or of the city building new schools but it's still not a bad idea. It still doesn't address the larger issue that they're being driven off school property strictly out of ideological reasons.

  10. Sean

    What are the addressees of the catholic schools that are closing? If James Prender is right though, it sounds like one reason the city isn't doing it is because of the structure of the real estate deals with the church.
    Underground parking garages and parks are a nice idea, but 120% of capacity for children is a problem that obviously has to be addressed. I think people are tying to do their best to help the neighborhood. We'll see if the new school allows a lot of bussing and in fact does not solve the overcrowding problem. I've read a few comment strings on this incredibly useful blog. They always take a very cynical, angry tone. That's too bad. I hope the pessimists don't stop the good work the owner of this blog does.

  11. sunnysider

    What happened to the school on 43st betwwen queens blvd and one block south where sunnyside jewish center used to be... how are those plans comming along..

  12. Funbers

    Upon first read the 120% over capacity number seemed really high to me. I just saw a NY1 report in which Jimmy Van Bramer claimed P.S. 11 was 17% percent over capacity. Huh? So what is the real number?

    Back on December 29, 2011 Sunnyside Post quoted Van Bramer as saying, “PS 11 is about 120% over capacity.” (

    Found an article in the Queens Gazette back on December 21, 2011 that quotes Van Bramer saying “P.S. 11 is at 120 percent capacity, way over where they need to be. We need an answer for P.S. 11.” (

    The terms "capacity" and "over capacity" are easy to gloss over, but there's a huge difference. Not sure if this speaks more to numerical illiteracy or the stat polishing of politics. Either way, it bothers this concerned Woodsider.

    For example, if you have a 50 student population to start with:
    20% over capacity = 50*1.20 = 60 students
    120% over capacity = 50*2.20 = 110 students
    120% capacity = 50*1.20 = 60 students

    Basically, 120% capacity and 120% OVER capacity are completely different. Completely.

  13. sean hughes

    they have to build new schools since they are closing all the catholic schools

  14. Sunnyside UP!!

    Looooooove Wilson's idea!!!!!!

  15. ted

    Uh, I presume the Catholic Church OWNS the property that the schools that have been closed is on - how much money would they want from the city to sell the buildings and/or the land?

    The Church might figure it can get more money by selling off the land to developers. People cannot assume that they are going to put the good of the community over their own financial best interest.

    Are there laws that demand public schools OWN the building/land a public school is on? I mean, is it practical for public schools to LEASE land insofar as, what happens when the lease runs out?

  16. Eduardo

    PS 11--along with most other schools in the area--are at about 120 % capacity... meaning that it is completely filled, plus 20 % too many students.

    I'd bet everything that JVB was misquoted by this site--I seriously doubt he's fudging numbers here.

    20 % over capacity already far too overcrowded--there's no need to overstate the demand here.

  17. Sunnyside Post

    Eduardo, Funders,
    The school is at about 120% capacity. The story has been corrected. Thanks.

  18. Anonymous

    For the life of me, I can't figure out where this school is going to be. And damn it, I hope I can move out of here by then, since I live on 57th Street, between 39th and Woodside Aves. One side of 39th is the LIRR. The other side has a small warehouse type business. But, I can't see a school going in there. And, gee, thanks. The Catholic school on the OTHER end of my block is already a pain in the ass with all the double parking and driveway blocking from parents who don't care that people LIVE on this block.

  19. JustPaula

    What about overcrowding on MY BLOCK? I live on 57th Street between 39th and Woodside Aves. I already have to deal with all of the parents from St. Sebastian School who double park and block my driveway when they pick up their kids. Are you telling me that now I get to another, bigger school at the other end of my block??? And, geez...there isn't even enough room for a school there? There is a smallish warehouse type business, backed up to homes on one side of the street and the other side is the LIRR tracks. Are you sure of the location????

  20. JustPaula

    Scratch that last question by me. You have the location right, alright. I just remembered that while heading out just before 10:00am on Friday morning, I saw a bunch of people in business suits on the corner, with a camera set up. Now I know why.

  21. RF

    @ Velociraptor

    If we could parlay for a second, I doubt you and I will ever agree on the Grace Fellowship in public school. That's fair and it happens. A lot of us have gone back and forth on this.

    I have no idea how large the margins are for what needs to keep St Raphael open, all I'm saying is it couldn't hurt, I actually think a sustained source of income might be a big help. Along with Grace, maybe there are some others affected by the ruling who could come. Though I do wonder if the Catholic Diocese would be ok with another sect of Christians using the school? Still could be worth a try.

    St. Raphael has been around a long time and they've done a lot of good, I believe NOBODY wants to see an institution like that go. If it gives Grace an area outside of public school to worship, again, it's a win win.

    Can anyone out there with contacts drop a line and ask, either the Diocese or Pastor Storck? Mr. Nolan? Sunnyside Post? Mr. Novak? Can't hurt to ask right?

  22. RF

    edit: what is needed to keep St. Raphael open.

  23. IrishSunnysider

    RF this sounds ok but I don't see it happening.

    First of all, Velociraptor is right that it's probably not enough money. Also, I just don't see the Catholic Church allowing other sects in there to worship. You also don't know if Pastor Storck would even want to worship there, many Protestants/Evangelicals have "misgivings" let's say about the Catholic Church. Just stating fact here.

    If I could become workable though I'm all for it.

  24. Raquel

    St. Raphael already rents the annex to PS 199 - they will probably rent more space to the public schools. Sad about St. Raphael closing right after St. Teresa's closing. Nolan et al. will not do anything about it either.

  25. Raquel

    As far as Pastor Storck goes, the location of P.S. 150 may have been better than the area where St. Raphael is. St. Raphael is more or less in the middle of nowhere.

  26. Rocky Balboa II

    When I was in school the classes were already "overcrowded". However, the kids went home and did homework and the parents helped them. I think that what is happening is that the system has been dumbed down and too many parents use the schools as "baby sitters". I know too many parents who don't have a clue about what their kids are doing in school. And too many kids are on their dumb boxes at night.

  27. Pat

    Right on Rocky ............................


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Hundreds turn out in quest for Hunters Point affordable housing, as residents learn about rental prices and income limits

Affordable housing 004

Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

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The goal for most was to find out how whether they qualified for one of the 925 affordable units on offer—which comes with building amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor terrace, internet café and meeting rooms.

The complex, which contains two buildings, will be comprised of studios, 1 brms, 2 brms and 3 bedroom units.

The application period is expected to begin October 15 and there will be 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall under the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, many attendees wanted to find out about the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

affordablerentsThe rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1965-2509 for a one bedroom, $2366-$3300 for a 2 bedroom and $2729-$4346 for a three bedroom.

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However, some residents said after the meeting that they thought the “moderate income” apartments were too expensive and complained that they made too much money to qualify for the “low income” units.

One man said during the meeting that he was paying less rent now than what the affordable [moderate income] units would be.

However, while some people grumbled, the rents are still significantly less than what is available on the open market. In a recent report released by Modern Spaces (an advertiser with the Sunnysidepost), the average studio apartment in a luxury Long Island City building is currently renting for more than $2,500, while one bedrooms are going for about $3,200.

The Hunters Point South apartments, unlike the other luxury Hunters Point buildings, will be “permanently” affordable. Therefore, the rent renewals are determined by a New York City formula– based on the Rent Guidelines Board.

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However, the key is getting an apartment in the first place—and tens of thousands of people are expected to apply.

Attendees were told that they would have 60 days to submit their application after the application period begins. Monterisi said that there would be a vigorous marketing campaign once the 60-day period opens. Residents can also register at to be notified of the date.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The application can be submitted online at New York Housing Connect ( Applicants will be required to create a personal profile that provides details as to their income, assets and the number of people who are likely to live in a given unit.

There is no actual limit on assets when applying for a “moderate” apartment. The main focus is on the applicant’s earnings and whether those assets will affect that figure.

Successful applicants will be notified during the first quarter of 2015, with the goal for it to be fully leased by spring 2015.

affordablehousingmoderate income



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Sunnyside resident jumps in front of LIRR train at Woodside station, critically injured

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Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

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The LIRR was forced to suspend eastbound service from Penn Station, except for the Port Washington Branch, for about an hour.


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‘The Good Wife’ to film in Sunnyside Tuesday

GoodwifeSept. 29, By Christian Murray

Several Sunnyside streets will be taken over Tuesday to make way for “The Good Wife.”

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The show, which premiered in 2009, has won five Emmys.

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

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Town hall meetings scheduled this week, with advice provided on snagging an affordable unit on LIC waterfront


Sept. 28, By Christian Murray

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For details on the meetings, see below:

HPS Town Halls Flyer 091714-1

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off October 20, more than 30 restaurants participating
Blu Orchid on Queens Blvd

Recently-opened Blu Orchid part of Sunnyside Restaurant Week

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Venturo, Salt & Fat win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Venturo sunnyside

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Sunnyside Farmers Market1

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

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The petition has recently gone online and can be found by clicking on this link:

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, xxx , Melissa Mark Viverto (Source:  Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

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The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

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“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Martha Puruncajas, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Sunnyside Street co-named after famous sporting arena

arenaSept. 23, By Christian Murray

City officials and boxing enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the co-naming of 45th Street to pay tribute to the now-demolished Sunnyside Garden Arena where fighters and wrestlers used to duke it out.

The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a 2,000-seat venue that was once located where Wendy’s now stands at 44-11 Queens Blvd, hosted boxing events from 1945 to 1977 during the golden years of NYC boxing. Many famous fighters from that era got their start at the arena, and it was a stepping stone to the brighter lights of Madison Square Garden.

Members of the Ring 8 Boxing Association, a group for retired boxers, unveiled the new street sign along with Dave Diamante, the official announcer at the Barclays Center, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Two years ago, many of the same boxing enthusiasts came out when a memorial was placed on the front lawn of Wendy’s that also marked the location.

John Edebohls, who was raised just a couple of blocks away from the arena, said when the memorial was unveiled:“This place launched many careers: Emile Griffith [middleweight world champ] and Jose Torres [light heavyweight world champ].”

The arena was where Gerry Cooney launched his professional career, Edebolhs said. Cooney would go on to fight Larry Holmes in 1982 for the heavyweight title. Cooney lost.

Luke Adams, a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said when the monument was unveiled that the arena was not just for boxing. “They had proms there, they made a movie there (Mr. Universe), and in 1960 John F. Kennedy had one of the first rallies of his Presidential campaign there.”

Sunnyside Gardens Arena

Sunnyside Garden Arena

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