Sunnyside Post

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Politicians break ground on new Sunnyside elementary school

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By Bill Parry

Construction of a new elementary school on 42nd Street in Sunnyside is about to begin, which public officials and parents say is desperately needed to combat school overcrowding.

A ceremonial groundbreaking of PS 313 was held by local politicians and representatives of the School Construction Authority this morning. The new school, to be located at 45-45 42nd Street, will be a five story red-brick building and will provide 430 seats for students from kindergarten through 5th grade. It is scheduled to open in September, 2014.

The 75,000sqf. school will feature a clock tower, a play area on the roof and 20 classrooms.  It will cost the city $57 million.

The school is being built on the site that once housed the Sunnyside Jewish Center. While the lot is small, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan said that the city has to take advantage of all available sites.

“We have had tremendous overcrowding problems,” Nolan said, adding that PS 313 will help alleviate it.

Students at PS 199 are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of the PS 313.

“We have 1,048 students in a building designed for 650 children,” said Anthony Inzerillo, the principal of PS199. “We even use locker rooms as classrooms.”

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said that PS 313 is one of five school buildings that are going up in in the 26th council district—which is comprised of Sunnyside, Woodside & Long Island City.  He said that equates to 2,000 seats.

State Senator Michael Gianaris said that he, Nolan and Van Bramer are all dedicated to improving public education. “All three of us are a product of public schools in this district,” he said, adding that “we have an acute awareness of the issues, since we came through it.”

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20 Responses »

  1. “…which public officials and parents say is desperately needed to combat school overcrowding.”

    Yet then they tell us they won’t be able to fill all the seats.

    Apparently not as “desperately needed” as they claimed. But it’s a done deal now, the contracts have been signed and money paid out.

  2. I am laughing at all the residents who will now have to deal with traffic and parking issues and MOBS of mothers hogging the street waiting for their kids. Not to mention those who get to listen to all those wonderful kids play on the roof every day.

    See what hipster do for the community? We bring our kids and our dogs and the community benefits !

  3. Why are they using shovels? It’s 2013, that’s going to take forever!

  4. *Thought* these pics of fake pols holding ceremonial shovels of dirt make me sick.

    Sorry if my thoughts are negative and not aligned with the party!!! I love the party! Long live the party! Don’t exterminate me!

    Winston Smith/1984

  5. I walk by this space often and I’m glad to hear progress is beginning. The neighborhood will change (and adapt;) except for some arm-chair quarterbacks, I think we are all looking forward to this new development. It will be fun to watch. Just think how it will look in a year.

  6. I was a baby when Cathy nolan got elected. She is still effective. I guess…

  7. Dirt ain’t the only thing those politicians know how to shovel.

  8. It’s about time. These kids can barely speak, nevermind read.

  9. I’m still trying to learn how much the City (or Board of Education) paid for the strip of land that extends a full block from 42nd Street to 43rd Street. Does anyone know?

  10. That space is so narrow! It seems to me it’s going to be like a closet…and children playing on a roof??? I already have a bad feeling

  11. That’s the most exercise those politicians have ever had in their lives! They are useless. Was this photo photoshopped? Long live the Party! What a joke.

  12. the school will be converted to a Charter school and all the hipsters will move their hipster kids to the “good” school meanwhile ps150 can’t even afford pencils for their classes.

  13. What’s funny, is that I thought P.S. 150 was the “good” school compared to P.S. 199, and that people moved to the other side of the Blvd. for that one ["Blvd. hopping" as I've heard it called/is becoming known].

    I don’t think the new school is going to reverse that trend.

    [We are a long way on the South Blvd. side from the "hipster" population that would want either G&T or charter - though I don't doubt one day it will veer that way given Sunnyside's proximity to midtown and reasonable housing compared to midtown -its just a matter of time . . . . ].

  14. I think “Know_where_to_run” is incorrect in saying that anyone has said that all this school’s seats won’t be able to be filled. What was stated in a previous article was that the DOE’s usual way of opening a new school is to open it with only one or two grades (K and perhaps 1st) and then add grades each year – so that it might take 4 or 5 years to fill all the seats. In my opinion there is no reason why a new school, especially one this small and in a district so overcrowded, can’t open with most of its grades (e.g. K-4). Children living in the school’s newly established zone can be moved in from PS 199, which as its principal states, is severely overcrowded (it has trailers, two annexes and ends at 4th grade, with 5th graders attending IS 125 in trailers). District 24 has in the past opened schools with most of their grades (e.g. PS 58 in Maspeth opened about 10 or 11 years ago with K-5 in a K-6 building).

    I saw drawings of the proposed school and the roof play yard is enclosed by very high fencing to make it safe. There are, I believe, other schools in NYC which have rooftop play areas. There will be a small play area on ground level for kindergarteners.

    Hate to bust the anti-hipster bubble – but public school overcrowding has existed in Sunnyside south of Queens Blvd. for many, many years. Previous plans to acquire the P.C. Richards site and/or build a new school in the schoolyard of PS 199 were abandoned. Thankfully this new site was found and although small, it will help somewhat with the overcrowding at P.S. 199.

  15. If this is one of five schools going up in this district per below:

    “Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said that PS 313 is one of five school buildings that are going up in in the 26th council district”

    Does anyone know what the other four are? Charter? With G&T? Nearby?
    Elementary, middle, or high school?

  16. Van Bramer’s council district (26th) is not the same as the school district. I think the other four schools being built in Jimmy’s district are all in School District 30 – one by the river in LIC (a 6-12th grade school) and one near St. Sebastian’s (K-3 or K-5). Don’t know what the other two are, but pretty sure they’re not in D24. PS 11 in Woodside (School District 30) is also getting a new wing – not sure if he’s counting that as one of the four – though it’s not a new school, just a large wing.

    By the way, the DOE/School Construction Authority does not build charter schools. Charter schools have to lease their own space (e.g. Our World in Astoria) or apply to co-locate in an existing public school building that is under-utilized (which is never the case in D24 and very rarely in D30 – Voices Charter School might be the only one).

  17. About time! I walked past the site yesterday and it hasn’t changed in months! The same bulldozer and port-potty sitting in the same spot!

  18. Portions of the sidewalks on the 42nd and 43rd Street portions of the project have been closed to pedestrians, which means that you can no longer walk straight through between 47th Avenue and Queens Boulevard. Outrageous!

  19. To Roxy: Cross over to the other side of the street then. There’s another sidewalk on those streets other then the ones blocked off.

  20. How can anyone believe that PS 150 is a better school then PS 199?? PS 199 is a great school with an excellent staff and principal. Three of my children have attended 199 and they received an excellent education. It is hard to find a school so dedicated to kids.

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