The office of NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer recently announced that new schools are about to open in the upcoming years within the 26th Council District in Western Queens. The schools include I.S./H.S. 404 in Hunters Point and P.S./I.S. 312 in Long Island City, which are both set to open in the 2013/2014 academic year next fall. Another school is P.S. 313 in Sunnyside, which will open in 2014, and a school located on 39th Avenue and 57th Street that is scheduled to open in 2015. These schools combined will provide an additional 2000 seats to the 26th Council District.
On January 4 Council Member Van Bramer, along with other local officials, school representatives, and community members, announced the construction of a new annex for P.S. 11 in Woodside, Queens. The other attendees included State Senator Michael Gianaris, a representative from Assemblywoman Marge Markey's office, School Construction Authority President and CEO Lorraine Grillo, school principal Anna Efkarpides, Community Education Council 30, the United Federation of Teachers, and local parents and children.
P.S. 11 is part of Community Education Council 30, one of the city's most overcrowded school districts. It currently is at 120% capacity and seats students in trailers called transportable classroom units (TCU). These trailers were installed 15 years ago and have taken up much space in the school yard. They also present students and teachers with various structural and maintenance hazards. Classroom overcrowding negatively impacts upon children's health and education.
When constructed, the Woodside annex will provide seating to an additional 350 children from the communities of Woodside and Sunnyside. The School Construction Authority has already brought in an architect to design the new building, which will be open by 2016. Advocacy efforts for building P.S. 11's annex began in 2002.