Officials broke ground on a new kindergarten through fifth grade school tucked into a residential section of Sunnyside last Thursday.
PS 313 at 45-46 42 St., just one block south of Queens Boulevard, will cost an estimated $57.31 million and provide 432 seats to students in overcrowded District 24.
“Parents want to be here in Sunnyside, and this school will help alleviate the over- crowding we are experiencing here,” PS 199 Principal Anthony Inzerillo said. The building will accommodate new students assigned to PS 199, which is only five blocks away.
PS 313 will be housed in two brick, cube-like buildings connected up to the second floor. On the roof of the second floor, where the two buildings separate, will be a courtyard with a play area in the middle, architect Gavin Macrae-Gibson said.
The construction site is a small plot where a Jewish community center once sat, with no room for a traditional schoolyard. To best utilize the space, there will be a second rooftop play area on the fifth floor contained by a stainless steel mesh enclosure with a northward view above the brick apartment buildings in the neighborhood.
“We’re making an advantage out of a disadvantage,” Macrae-Gibson said, adding that the rooftop play spaces will be the only ones in the city.
“It’s a unique site, and of course we would like a site five times the size, but in a crowded neighborhood you take it as it comes,” Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside) said.
The school will also have a “gymatorium” with stackable furniture for lunch and performances that can take place on the stage as well as doubling as a fully functional gym with retractable basketball hoops and appropriate sports flooring.
Plans call for 20 classrooms including ones dedicated to art and science, a library and a kitchen. There will be two entrances, one on 42nd Street and one on 43rd Street, with a bus drop off area at the 42nd Street doors.
The School Construction Authority plans to cut the ribbon on the elementary school in September 2014.
“This brand-new school will provide future generations of children from Sunnyside and Woodside with a state of the art facility they could be proud of,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said.
PS 313 is one of a host of school construction projects in the area.
The SCA has pledged to build a 300-seat annex at PS 11 on Skillman Avenue with a completion date in September 2016. The annex will replace leaky trailers that parents and officials have said are long past their expiration date.
Additionally, last February the SCA bought property for a new school — PS 339 — at 39th Avenue and 57th Street. The 440-seat elementary school is tentatively scheduled to open in September 2015.
The SCA has also released plans for a 508-seat addition to PS 70 Astoria and a new 578-seat school in Long Island City called PS/IS 312.
The print version stated that the two entrances will be on 42nd Street and 41st Street. The entrances will actually be on 42nd Street and 43rd Street.