Council subcommittees okay 3 primary schools

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Both the Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public...

By Adam Kramer

School Districts 29 and 27 are poised to get some needed relief from crippling overcrowding with the recent approval of new schools in each district by two city council subcommittees last week.

Both the Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings and Maritime Use and the Council’s Land Use Committee approved the construction of two schools in District 29 and one school in District 27. The new 704-seat elementary schools will be built in Queens Village, Laurelton and Richmond Hill.

Jake Lynn, a spokesman for the City Council, said the Council will vote on the new schools at its March 14 session and the project is expected to pass. He said getting approval from the subcommittees was the “biggest hurdle.”

“The new schools will give Queens more classrooms and seats in school districts operating at more than 100 percent capacity,” Lynn said. “We hope the new schools will alleviate some of the overcrowding in the districts.”

School District 29, which covers Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, Laurelton and parts of Jamaica and Fresh Meadows, now has approval to build three new schools and will expand two old schools to help reverse the overcrowding. The new construction will add 2,642 new classroom seats by 2003.

District 29’s 23 elementary schools and five middle schools, which provide classroom seats for 27,000 students, are operating at a utilization rate of 130 percent.

School District 27, which stretches from South Ozone Park to the Rockaways and from Richmond Hill to Howard Beach, received approval for one new 704-seat elementary school.

District 27’s 32 elementary schools and six middle schools, which provide classroom seats for 34,000 to 35,000 students, are operating at a utilization rate of 118 percent.

Dan McCormack, a spokesman for the city’s School Construction Authority, said the new schools are expected to be built by September 2003. In District 29 the two expansion projects are planned for the 2002 school year, he said.

In District 29, PS 263 will be built at 222-21 Jamaica Ave. in Queens Village, the site of the old Best Ford car dealership, while PS 270 will be built at 234th Street and Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton and in District 27, PS 254 is planned for 101st Street and Park Lane South in Richmond Hill.

Still another school, PS 268 at 175-02 Jamaica Ave. in Jamaica, had received approval earlier this year.

“We are ecstatic and hope construction will begin sooner then later,” said Nathaniel Washington, president of School Board 29. “The schools are needed and there are no negatives.”

He said even with the new schools the district still needs more seats and with land in the middle of the district in short supply, the school board will try to have additions built on the existing schools.

The additions are being built at PS 181 in Springfield Gardens and PS 195 in Rosedale.

Each of the new schools will accommodate 704 students and the addition at PS 181 will add 240 seats, while PS 195 will get another 300 seats.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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