BY JON CRONIN
The historic PS 66 in Richmond Hill, which is at 256 percent capacity, is getting a 96-seat extension, which will feature a new cafeteria, a gymnasium, additional classrooms and bathrooms.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), New York City School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo, District 27 Superintendent Mary Barton, and P.S. 66 Principal Phyllis Leinwand announced the major expansion to the landmarked P.S. 66, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, on Monday.
“The expansion, which will honor the architectural design of the historic school, includes three pre-kindergarten classrooms, one kindergarten classroom, and three typical classrooms,” a statement from Ulrich’s office stated. “In addition, the expansion will have a new kitchen and cafeteria, exercise room, guidance suite and administrative office.”
The upgrades to the school, which may run between $20 and $30 million are already funded, Ulrich’s office says. However, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will need to approve the plans before work can begin. The school, which was built in 1898 and is located on 102nd Street, two blocks south of Forest Park, was landmarked in 2010.
“Every child deserves a world-class education in a setting that allows them to flourish. For years, P.S. 66 has been overcrowded and outdated. I’m proud that today we can announce a major expansion to this historic school, so we can better educate the students in our Richmond Hill community,” Ulrich said.
“While this beautiful historic building will remain intact, we will now be able to add the amenities that will provide the students and staff with a modern state of the art facility,” said Lorraine Grillo, New York City SCA president .
“During my fifteen years as Principal, many elected officials and representatives of various agencies within the DOE have visited this building. They marveled at its historic status, and commiserated with us over its lack of modern facilities for the children and staff. It took only one visit from Councilman Eric Ulrich and Lorraine Grillo, President of School Construction Authority, to understand our needs. Together they moved forward with plans to make our dream for an extension a reality. Their joint commitment, perseverance and dedication to our school community are greatly appreciated,” said Phyllis Leinwand, principal of P.S. 66.
“The children who have been educated in this building for the past 118 years were fortunate to attend a school whose historical significance is now woven into the tapestry of our city. It is my hope future generations of children in Richmond Hill will continue to honor and respect the historic status of this building while enjoying the well-deserved luxuries of its new expansion.”
“Councilman Ulrich’s work to partner with School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo to make this expansion a reality is greatly appreciated by the entire P.S. 66 school community,” said Mary Barton, District 27 superintendent.
The school, small by city standards, got a reprieve when another elementary school, PS 254, opened a block away in 2004 and the DOE installed a trailer on PS 66 grounds in the early 2000s.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, email@example.com or @JonathanSCronin