BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
One of the most overcrowded school districts in the city will finally be getting a new elementary school.
As part of the city Department of Education’s plan to add 2,700 seats to School District 30—which encompasses Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside—PS 398Q officially broke ground last Thursday at the corner of 34th Avenue and 69th Street at a site that was formerly the regional offices of White Castle.
“This new school is great news for our community,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). “District 30 is one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city. Overcrowding in neighborhood schools will be alleviated once Q398 is constructed. That means higher-quality arts and physical education for our students. I am proud of this accomplishment and will continue to fight school overcrowding tooth and nail.”
The five-story, 65,000-square-foot school will provide 426 seats to Pre-K through fifth-grade students. There will be four Pre-K rooms, three kindergarten rooms, 15 rooms for grades one through five and two special education classrooms. In addition, the school will include a reading resource room, speech resource room, rooftop garden, art and music classrooms, science room, gymnasium, library, guidance counselor’s office, nurse’s office, administration suite, teachers’ room, parent room, cafeteria, staff lunchroom, and both an early-childhood playground and playground for older students.
In addition to the $6.3 million cost to purchase the site, the elementary school’s price tag will be approximately $45 million.
Following the closing of White Castle in 2015, Dromm had suggested that the site be used for a school and School Construction Authority president Lorraine Grillo agreed. Later that year, Community Board 3 and the City Council approved the site to be used for the construction of a new school, and demolition began in spring 2016.
The school is scheduled to open by September 2019.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.