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City Purchases Barnett Avenue Middle School Site for $12.8 Million, Moves Project Forward

Site of the former Sunnyside Community Garage, where a new middle school will be built (Queens Post)

Feb. 6, 2018  By Nathaly Pesantez

Plans to bring a middle school to Barnett Avenue have taken a significant step forward as the city closed in on a $12.8 million purchase of the school site last month.

The School Construction Authority purchased the entire lot at 38-04 48th St. on Jan. 10, according to property records. The lot, with a gross floor area of 53,000 square feet, currently holds a vacant two-story building that was once known as the Sunnyside Community Garage.

The purchase follows a November hearing at City Hall attended by the SCA, where the middle school’s location was approved by the Subcommittee on Landmarks and Public Siting.

The middle school is expected to seat 697 students from grades six to eight in a four to five story building, according to Michael Mirisola, director of external affairs for the SCA. It will see standard school features like a lunchroom, a “gymnatorium” (a room that acts as a gym and auditorium), and rooms for music, science and the arts.

The SCA said it is hoping to fit a ground level playground at the school. The school’s overall design, however, is not yet complete.

The SCA also told the subcommittee during the November hearing that the community raised concerns ranging from preserving the current building, constructed in 1927, to incorporating some elements that have been removed over the years from the original building, like a tower and decorative brick work, in the upcoming school building.

But the SCA told the subcommittee that the current building will have to be demolished to make way for the new school due to its structural issues. Still, the SCA said it will try to incorporate the building’s old and long-gone features to the new school, and will work with a special community advisory board created just for the project.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) confirmed that the school will be built at the Feb. 1 Community Board 2 meeting, and that the community advisory board is starting to take shape as he promised during initial deliberations in 2016. Some members from CB2, including chairperson Denise Keehan-Smith, are part of the panel, as well as home owners who are adjacent to the upcoming school.

“We will have a new school there, but it is equally important that there’s meaningful community input.” Van Bramer said at the meeting.

Community members interested in becoming part of the special advisory group should contact Van Bramer’s office.

The school still needs to receive approvals from the city and undergo a bidding and final design process, but it could open in 2021 if everything is on schedule, the SCA said in late 2016.

The building at 38-04 48th St., where a new middle school will be built. (Google Maps)

email the author: news@queenspost.com

45 Comments

Anonymous

Nothing to do with the Gardens this is a horrible location. Why didn’t the city buy the Toys R Us/ old Pergament site down the block on Northern? Corner property, parking, school yard, two much bigger school buildings.




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down with SGP

If the middle school zoning was the same as the SGP zone. The garden residents would be happy as clams. Now the park will have to build a bigger fence and get security for their enterance to make sure the kids who go there don’t try to enjoy some green space. The Horror.




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Ed Koch

If you live in NYC you do not deserve a car or parking spot. If you need that, please live literally anywhere else.




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Patret

Will there be a designated lot for staff parking included in the design? Even if the school is just given their limited DOE allotment of spaces bordering the school, there will be an increase in the need for parking in a neighborhood with very limited availability. Community mindedness has to include educational needs as well as consideration for the needs of the neighborhood as a whole.




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Truth

Are you kidding? Teachers don’t get parking. Only administrators. I feel sorry for the teachers, because it will be quite difficult for them.




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Life

It will most likely be street parking thus no parking from 8am – 4pm Mon thur Friday. Van Bramer did it wrong this time. School is a bad idea.




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The huge empty parking lot 2 blocks away

I have been pushing for the city to make a deal with the owners of the Toys R Us/ Models/ Liquidators parking lot. It is always empty. Have the teachers park in the Northwest corner during school hours. Then have them walk up to the school. Most would probably enter and exit via Northern Blvd and not have to go through the 48th street & 39th avenue intersection.




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NoFool

Entering from 48th st and setting the school well back from the traffic would solve the non-issue you raise.




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chris

this is confusing

“The SCA also told the subcommittee during the November hearing that the community raised concerns with preserving the current building, constructed in 1927, or incorporating some of its elements that have been removed over the years, including a tower and decorative brick work, in the upcoming school building.

But the current building will have to be demolished to make way for the new school due to its structural issues. Still, the SCA said it will try to incorporate rate the building’s original features to the school, and will work with a special community advisory board created just for the project.”




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vote out van bramer

What a horrible idea to put a school tucked away into a quiet part of sunnyside where the narrow side streets can barely handle the current amount of traffic. Imagine the hundreds and thousands of cars and buses clogging the roads in that area. Get ready for a major logistical nightmare along with excessive noise and pollution. Van Bramer has no clue how to serve his constituents. It’s sad to see how this neighborhood is going down the toilet while other NYC neighborhoods seem to be on the upswing. We get more traffic, higher property taxes, and more homeless people while others don’t.




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Kelly M

Sunnyside has higher property taxes than other area of Queens? Is Sunnyside getting increases the rest of the city property owners aren’t? I’ve lived her 60 years and don’t see all of these homeless people you mention.




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Travis Pickle

As much as it delights me to see that all of these gardens people are upset, one has to admit this is not an ideal location. That spot across the tracks would be much better for buses and drop offs. Also there would be more room for a proper recess area. This school will lead to many problems with traffic and roaming teens, none of whom will be from the gardens because those people would never send their special precious offspring to a regular public school.




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Steve Madden

And at the last minute, DeBlasio will claim it & open a homeless shelter! Then JVB will swear he wasn’t informed…




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ann

A horrible place for a school. In the middle of a residential area and not that convenient to get to. Bad location for drop-offs. What were people thinking, including Jimmy van Bramer?




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Woodside Mom

Where do you think schools should be if not in a residential area? A middle school this small will likely be locally zoned with the vast majority of students being able to walk to school – thus the fears of drastically increased traffic and busing are most likely not going to happen.




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whaah

These comments are always full of the worst people

muh traffic

muh parking

muh bike lobby

muh black people near my expensive single family home




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A.Bundy

like sending your kids in nyc public schools with prison windows isnt depressing enough…now you get to send them in an even more depressing area.




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Carbie Barbie

They’re tearing this ugly building down, even though about a dozen people will make it difficult and argue it’s a significant structure.




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Optics

Hundreds of 13-year-olds in a quiet residential neighborhood. What could possibly go wrong?




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NoFool

What kind if non-sequitor is that? It is not about teaching children it is about where you teach them, you kink-brained dope.




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Anonymous

enough with this more spots lost traffic will be a nightmare — again Mr. JVB thanks for nothing —




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Steve

If you drove you would know that there is no parking allowed in front of schools, less parking spaces. Also some teachers drive to work, more people looking for parking.




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NoFool

Teachers, administrators, delivery vehicles, parents, building staff, etc. all drive and park.




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urbo

this is honestly great news.

I can’t wait to see all of the BS negativity from the residents of sunnyside gardens…




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GardensWatcher

Obviously you have no clue about traffic patterns in that area and living in the Gardens. If you did, you would know what a bad idea this is.




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