Councilman Dennis Gallagher (R-Middle Village) said the city's School Construction Authority is planning to build a new, locally zoned school which will offer kindergarten through eighth grade at the site of PS 128, which currently has only K-5 classes. The 650-seat school, which will cost $58 million to construct, will be built on the school's current playground site, said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5.Gallagher said classes will stay open at PS 128, which is located on 65th Drive, until construction is completed and ample play space will be retained for students during the building process. The existing building will be demolished after students transfer into the new school, he said."This is an extremely ambitious plan that will change the educational landscape in this (district), providing state-of-the-art equipment to a school that has been shortchanged for years," he said. Gallagher said the new school will combat longstanding problems with overcrowded classrooms at the school as well as provide new computer and science laboratories and gymnasiums."Demographics show that problems will get worse, not better, with overdevelopment in the community, which will bring new students into the education system," he said.He said classroom sizes will remain the same at the school, but additional space will allow for sixth- through eighth-grade classes. Area students currently attend Glendale's MS 119 after graduating from PS 128, he said.In addition, Middle Village's PS 49 on Penelope Avenue will undergo a $33 million expansion, while PS 113 on 79th Avenue in Glendale will receive a $39 million expansion, Gallagher said. Expansions at both schools will include new equipment, classroom space and gymnasiums, Giordano said. Gallagher said both schools are extremely overcrowded, but no start date has been set for the projects.The city is also still planning to build two new middle schools and one new high school on Metropolitan Avenue, which would act as a locally zoned school for Middle Village and Forest Hills students, Gallagher said. Giordano said CB 5 would conduct a public hearing with representatives from the School Construction Authority on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Middle Village's Christ the King High School, where residents can voice their opinions about the construction projects.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by email at news@times
©2007 Community News Group
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