The city is planning to use eminent domain to clear the way for a 796-seat elementary/middle school in Corona, one of the most overcrowded neighborhoods in the five boroughs.
The city School Construction Authority filed a petition in Queens Supreme court in late October seeking to condemn two properties on the eastern side of 98th Street between 50th and Christie avenues in order to make way for the construction of the five-story, 105,000-square-foot PS/IS 298.
The properties are owned by two companies, 5051 LLC and Corsalini Associates LLC, and the grounds are used primarily as a parking lot for Verizon. The property owners could not be reached for comment.
A court date on the proceedings has been set for Dec. 6.
Together, the two pieces of property stretch most of the length along 98th Street north from Christie Avenue on a 100-feet-deep strip of land behind the overcrowded IS 61.
IS 61’s 207,407-square-foot building is operating at 117 percent of capacity with 338 students more than the approximately 2,000 seats the school is equipped to handle.
The school is in western Queens’ District 24, the most overcrowded in the city with a shortage of some 4,840 seats and a shortage of available land on which to construct new school houses. The city Department of Education opened three schools in the area in September, but all were co-located in existing school buildings.
PS/IS 298 would serve students in Corona, Elmhurst and LeFrak City. Construction on the $86.45 million project is expected to start July 2014 with an estimated completion date of July 2016.
The school was designed by the architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, which has drawn up the plans for project such as the Grand Louvre in Paris, the Fordham University Law School at Lincoln Square and the Queens Family Court house in Jamaica.
The building’s structural engineer, the firm of Ysrael A. Seinuk, said on its website that the long, sloped school building is split between classrooms on one side and assembly spaces on another “distinguished by their precast concrete panels.”
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2013 Community News Group
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