The Department of Education broke ground on a new extension for the school last week. The project will add roughly 60,000 square feet and increase the school’s capacity by 508 seats and add 24 new classrooms.
The addition will also provide the school, which is located on 42nd Street, with its first regulation-sized gymnasium. It should be completed by spring of 2014.
Currently the school holds several classes in a “mini school” in the school’s parking lot.
“If they had to go outside for science, they had to walk outside in the rain and snow to get back to their classroom,” said Principal Donna Geller.
Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. allocated $1 million in funding for the project.
“One of the main priorities I've always had was a gymnasium at this school,” Vallone said. “This is really a remarkable day.”
“My children were getting gym in the lunchroom or in the schoolyard,” added Geller. “So in terms of physical needs for children, it's very important.”
The new facility will feature a unique facade sporting the word “welcome” in 51 different languages, the number of different languages spoken at the school. There will also be a garden at the entrance
When asked how she will deal with such a large-scale project in the school’s backyard, Geller said she will look to the school’s motto.
“There are no impossible dreams, just our limited perception of what is possible,” she said.