BY DANIEL OFFNER
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) announced this week that he has been working with the School Construction Authority on a proposal to build a new school at 69-01 34 Ave. in Jackson Heights, the former site of White Castle’s regional headquarters.
“Since I was elected to office in 2009, it has been my priority to add new seats to our district,” Dromm said in an email to his constituency. “I believe this old White Castle site would be a great location.”
The proposal calls for the construction of a new elementary school, which will include 450 new seats for public school students.
Jeff Guyton, co-president of the Community Education Council for District 30, said that with the necessary funding from the City Department of Education for 450 new seats, the proposal is a “really good first step” towards addressing overcrowding issues in Jackson Heights.
“Obviously, this is really great news for the district,” Guyton said. “It gets us about a third of the way there.”
According to Guyton, even with the addition of 450 new seats, the district still needs 480 seats that have not been funded by the DOE. Apart from the proposed elementary school in Jackson Heights, Guyton said the district is also working to find a location for a new middle school in Sunnyside and Woodside and a suitable site for a school in Hunters Point.
Although the sale of the White Castle property has not been finalized, as of press time, the DOE said it appreciates Dromm’s efforts to identify the site and look forward to working with the Jackson Heights community to move the project forward.
“As we continue our effort to reduce school overcrowding in Queens and throughout our City, we are happy to partner with local communities to find suitable locations for new seats,” Jason Fink, a DOE spokesman, said.
Plans for the proposed construction will be presented at the next meeting of Community Board 3, on May 21 at 7:30 p.m., at Louis Armstrong Middle School, 32-02 Junction Blvd.
Reach Daniel Offner at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @DanielOffner.