DOE Racing to Finish New Schools by September
by Daniel Bush
Jan 08, 2009 | 1609 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The School Construction Authority plans to turn this site on 57th Avenue in Maspeth into a new school.
The School Construction Authority plans to turn this site on 57th Avenue in Maspeth into a new school.
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At the Community Board Five meeting next week the Department of Education's School Construction Authority (SCA) will present a progress report on three major capital works projects in Western Queens, CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano said Monday.

In the fall of 2007, Giordano said, the SCA began work on additions at P.S. 49 in Middle Village and P.S. 113 in Glendale, and the construction of a new school for P.S. 128 in Middle Village.

The three projects combined will cost approximately $128 million, according to SCA estimates given to Giordano.

The projects are slated to be finished in time for the start of the 2009-2010 school year, but Giordano said it is unclear if the SCA will complete them by the appointed date.

"They're all slated for occupancy in September of this year," Giordano said. "Now whether or not they're going to make that timeline, I'm not sure." Giordano said the construction so far suggests there is much left to be done. "There's a lot of work to be completed for each of those sites from what I can see."

Will Havemann, an education department spokesman, said the schools will be finished on time.

"They are on track to be completed for the start of the school year in 2009," said Havemann. "They will be great learning facilities for our students."

Giordano said the additions to P.S. 49 and P.S. 128 will convert both schools, now elementary schools, into combined elementary and intermediate schools. The addition at P.S. 49 will accommodate around 400 new students, Giordano said. The addition at P.S. 113 will seat 434 new students.

The P.S. 128 school being built in Middle Village will replace the existing school's building, which will be demolished once the new school opens. The new building will have a 660-student capacity, Giordano said.

Giordano said at the upcoming CB5 meeting SCA will also answer questions about its plans to build a new combined intermediate and high school in west Maspeth.

Giordano said CB5 has been opposed to the project from the start.

The SCA originally chose an abandoned lot on 74th Street and 57th Avenue for the new school, said Giordano, which the department of education said would serve about 1,650 students.

CB5 has opposed the proposal, said Giordano, because Maspeth doesn't need another intermediate school, and the chosen area is already too congested with other schools.

"We realize more schools are needed for local students of high school age, but that section of Maspeth already has significant congestion," Giordano said.

An existing school, P.S. 58, is located only half a block from SCA's proposed site for the new school on 54th Avenue. In addition, said Giordano, I.S. 73, with an enrollment of roughly 1,700, is only a few blocks away.

On May 14, 2008, CB5 voted to reject the proposed location. On May 21, said Giordano, CB5 sent a letter to the SCA suggesting, as an alternative site, the former St. Savior's Church lot at 57-40 58th Street in west Maspeth.

Giordano said CB5 has not received a written response in return, but the community board has received a verbal commitment from SCA that the authority will explore alternative sites for the new school, said Giordano.

The SCA could reveal a revised proposal for the new school at next week's meeting.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 14, in the cafeteria of Christ the King Regional High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

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