BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A Corona school at which children have long dealt with cramped classrooms broke ground on Monday for a spacious new extension that will ease overcrowding at the school.
PS 143, which is located in one of the most overcrowded school districts in the borough, has long squeezed approximately 600 elementary school children into six school trailers and a mini-building that was often too hot during the warmer months and too cold during the winter. The trailers also did not have a bathroom, forcing small children to travel in cold weather from their trailer to the main building.
Earlier this year, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) held a press conference at PS 143 to announce that a new school building would be constructed in place of the trailers and mini-building that have been providing space for classrooms for more than two years.
Earlier this week, Peralta, PS 143 Principal Jerry Brito, the city’s School Construction Authority and the Parent-Teacher Association broke ground for the construction of the new building.
“This addition is something the school has been looking forward to for many years and it’s finally coming to fruition,” Brito said. “The great things happening inside will be reflected on what happens on the outside. All of the things we were dreaming about, in a short time, we will have them in our new addition.
There will be a renaissance at PS 143.”
The new five-story, state-of-the-art building will be an attachment to the current PS 143. The building will accommodate approximately 980 students and provide 22 new classrooms for grades one through five, 11 new Kindergarten classrooms and six special-education classrooms. The building will also include new science laboratories, art and music rooms, STEM classrooms, a large cafeteria, reading and speech resource rooms, a library, a guidance suite and much more.
The current PS 143 building will also undergo upgrades and renovations.
“This is a magnificent victory for the parents, for the students, for the community and for all of us,” said Peralta. “The new permanent addition to P.S. 143 will help us fight overcrowding and ensure children don’t have to learn in a rusty trailer. With the construction of this new state-of-the-art building, schoolchildren will be educated in the modern environment they deserve. Almost 1,000 new seats to tackle overcrowding means a better-quality education for students. I am very happy the project I proposed years ago is becoming a reality. Our kids are the greatest winners. This is an A for everyone.”
The project is slated for completion in 2020.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.