Jan. 7, 2013 By Christian Murray
Elected officials held a press conference on Friday to announce further details on the construction of a school annex at PS 11 in Woodside.
The new addition, which was announced in November, will serve more than 340 Sunnyside and Woodside students. It will help combat PS 11’s overcrowding problem, as well as overcrowding in the greater district.
PS 11, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave. is at about 120% capacity, and has as many as 10 beaten-up portables that litter the school grounds. Many are more than a decade old and are hazardous to teachers and children alike.
Anna Efkarpides, PS 11’s school principal, said that ceiling tiles have fallen on children in the past. Meanwhile, one staff member has fallen through the trailer floor.
The trailers are used by about 220 kindergarten and first grade students.
“Our children should never be forced to learn in trailers that are falling apart,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “They deserve the newest and the best school facilities.”
The annex will be built in an enclosed area behind the main school where the trailers are located. Construction is expected to be completed in 2016.
The limited space and steep incline is expected to make construction difficult. In fact, engineers for the School Construction Authority had given the project the thumbs down in the past due to the problematic site. However, the SCA has assured the public that it will be done.
The SCA has also announced that it is constructing a school at PS 339 at 39th Avenue and 57th Street (which is about three of blocks away) that will cater to 470 students. It is scheduled to open September 2015. The new school will be a 5 story building, with a cafeteria and gym on the first floor.
Both the annex and the new school are needed to alleviate the overcrowding problem at the 1,350 student school, Van Bramer said.
Furthermore, neighboring schools are bursting at the seams. PS150 is at 110% overcapacity and PS 152 at 120%.
Construction of a Sunnyside elementary school at 45-46 42nd Street (Queens Blvd. and 47th Ave.) is about to begin. That school, PS 313, will be 5 stories high, and is expected to open in September 2014.