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New School To Go Up in Woodside, to Open in 2015

Feb. 17, 2012 By Christian Murray

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 P.S.11 in Woodside, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., is at 120 percent 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 P.S.11 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 P.S.11 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 (between 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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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.


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.


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.


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.


@ 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?


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.


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????


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.

Sunnyside Post

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


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.


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?


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.


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..


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.



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.


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


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?

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.

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.


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”.


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.


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 …..


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