BY JAMES FARRELL
A recently announced middle school in College Point would likely be well received by the community, but overcrowding issues in the district will still persist, said Arlene Fleishman, chairwoman of Community Board 7’s Committee on Education.
Fleishman delivered her comments at last week’s community board meeting, updating board members on discussions at a recent Community Education Council (CEC) meeting for school district 25.
The new school, JHS Q336, would be located at 124-06 14th Ave., where the former St. Fidelis School once operated. New zone lines would have to be drawn up out of JHS 194 and 185, which College Point students currently attend. It would be an open-enrollment school, which means that any student from district 25 could apply to attend, unless the school had no room to accommodate applicants—in which case, it would become a zoned school. The school would have 507 total seats available and would accept sixth-graders for the 2018-2019 school year. By 2021, the school would have full capacity with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, Fleishman said.
But Fleishman added that 507 seats would be enough to meet demand, given that the fifth-grade classes alone at P.S. 29 and 129, the two elementary schools in College Point, contain a combined total of 284 children. She expressed concern over how an excess of students would be handled.
“Two hundred and eighty-four children will be eligible to go into the new school,” Fleishman said. “But if you put 284 children in sixth grade, there’ll be no room—if you get that each year—for 507 kids. So, this school is not going to accommodate all of College Point. There’s no way it can accommodate.”
The benefit, she explained, is that the two middle schools currently housing College Point students, JHS 194 and 185, are currently overcrowded. A new school could help alleviate that, she said. But Fleishman was frustrated that developers and builders continue to come to the board for approval on projects, even as proper accommodation is lacking.
“Our elementary schools are bursting at the seams,” she said. “The schools are not equipped to accommodate the construction that’s going on in district 25. While we’re happy this is happening in College Point, it’s not going to make it very happy for the parents living there because there aren’t many children who are going to be able to be accommodated.”
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.