BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
State Sen. Jose Peralta’s (D-Elmhurst) bill to build a state-of-the-art pre-K school in Flushing Meadows Corona Park was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday morning.
“I want to applaud Gov.Andrew Cuomo for signing into law my bill that will allow the city to build a much-needed pre-k center in an effort to fight the severe school overcrowding my district has faced for decades,” said Peralta. “It is unthinkable that, in 2017, New York City children are learning in classroom trailers, and this is why the construction of a state-of-the-art pre-K school next to the Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park will benefit the community.”
The school, which will have more than 300 new seats, is going to be constructed at a site that is currently a parking lot.
Currently, approximately 108 4-year-old children attend pre-K in trailers on the PS 28 playground, which is directly across the street from the parking lot. In addition, a number of other children who live in Corona attend pre-K outside of their neighborhood, due to the district’s overcrowding.
The bill authorizes the operation of a pre-kindergarten center that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“Part of the Pre-K for All promise was to make sure every 4-year old in the city has access to pre-kindergarten programs,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery. “In some neighborhoods, we’ve had to really improvise to make that happen.”
Although the bill adds pre-K seats to the district, the overcrowded region would still need approximately 200 more seats.
The school is expected to open in 2020.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.