New elementary school coming to Jackson Heights in 2019

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (c) joins city officials during a ground-breaking ceremony for a new elementary school in Jackson Heights.
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Officials broke ground last week on a new elementary school in Jackson Heights that will alleviate some of the chronic overcrowding in District 30, one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city.

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) worked closely with the city’s School Construction Authority to acquire the old White Castle headquarters on 34th Avenue and 69th Street. The new school will be known as Q398, with room for 476 students from pre-K through fifth grade.

“This new school is great news for our community,” Dromm said. ““Overcrowding in neighborhood schools will be alleviated once Q398 is constructed. That means higher-quality arts and physical education for our students. I am proud of this accomplishment and will continue to fight school overcrowding, tooth and nail.”

The $62 million project will deliver a five-story, 65,000-square-foot building that will feature a rooftop garden, ample space for arts education, a library, a science resource room, gymnasium, a cafeteria, a library and more. The new school will also include an early childhood playground and a playground for older students. The building was designed by Purcell Architects, who drew inspiration from Jackson Heights’ renowned architecture.

“This planned brand-new, state-of-the-art building continues the School Construction Authority’s work with local leaders to address overcrowding in District 30,” SCA President Lorraine Grillo said. “We are thrilled to construct a beautiful and modern learning environment for PS 398’s future students to grow and thrive in, and look forward to bringing these 476 new seats to Jackson Heights.”

The school is scheduled to open in September 2019. Since Dromm was elected to the City Council, where he is chairman of the Education Committee, he has secured 300 additional seats at PS 13 in Elmhurst, converted the old Blessed Sacrament School into a public school and opened IS 297, creating 400 new middle-school seats.

“This school will provide an enriching learning environment for our students,” District 30 Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto said. “Like all our other District 30 schools, having this new building will support the creativity of teachers and staff as they design innovative and personalized learning experiences for each student. I am very excited about this endeavor and I thank you all again for making this possible.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, July 5, 2017
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Reader feedback

Tom from Queens says:
This will never be built to spec under budget. The contractors will pilfer that money and the city will let them and in the end this will cost $100 million, be two years late and be built of the lowest quality possible and need major repairs within 5 years after opening, like just about every government project of the past two decades. That the school is in a predominantly minority neighborhood really doesn't bode well for this project.
July 5, 2017, 1:16 pm

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