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.”