After years of dealing with overcrowding, IS 125 in Woodside will finally get some relief.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Principal Judy Lynn Miller, students and community leaders gathered in front of the trailers that have been home to fifth-grade classrooms for some time now.
“I am proud to announce that we will be replacing the dilapidated trailers at IS 125 with a brand-new 600-seat annex that will help alleviate overcrowding in Woodside,” Van Bramer said at a press conference on Friday.
The project is one of six new schools and expansions Van Bramer helped secure in Western Queens and marks a milestone in his efforts to add more than 2,600 school seats to the 26th Council District, home to some of the borough’s worst overcrowding.
“Once this facility is complete, we will mark a tremendous milestone in our efforts to build six new schools in Western Queens in just four years,” Van Bramer said. “IS 125 has continued to provide local children with the quality education they deserve.”
When completed, the new annex — which will replace an existing one that has been used for decades — will include a new cafeteria, gymnasium and state-of-the-art technology in every classroom.
Miller said she is thrilled to have the new extension added to her school.
“It’s a welcome addition,” she said. “We had a hope that the auditorium could have shows, we had a hope that the library would be accessible to the students all the time instead of holding classes, and that hope swelled and became a reality.”
Despite not having enough classrooms, the school was granted an A grade last year, something Miller said is all due to her staff.
“Having teachers and administrators who care and who love to teach has helped a lot,” Miller said. “Sometimes we’ve had to get creative in fitting kids in rooms, but our staff is the best in the city and we make the best of the situation.”
Construction is slated to begin in the summer and be completed in time for the 2016 school year.
In the meantime, students will pile into the existing annex and main building while the projected is being completed.
“It’ll be tough but the end product is going to make all of it worth it,” Miller added.
Student Government Vice President Alissia Quan is ecstatic with the announcement.
“When I came into 125, I was only 10 years old but I was immediately welcomed by the teachers and staff and I felt really lucky to be a student here,” the 11-year-old said. “We have a great deal of activities that all of the kids participate in. We’re really happy to have these trailers taken away because that was a big part of the campaign for vice president.”