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Queens Chronicle

Woodside’s PS 11 pleas for expansion

Elementary school’s outdated transportables need replacement

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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 10:36 am, Thu May 3, 2012.

Politicians, PS 11’s principal, parent-teacher association members and students gathered on Friday to reiterate the elementary school’s overcrowding and ask that the School Construction Authority fulfill its promise to build an annex for the school.

“That promise has been made, but not kept,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said.

Later, a spokesman for Van Bramer’s office said the SCA has worked with them to ease overcrowding, but was stalled because of budget issues.

The SCA never attached a price tag to the annex project. The cost would depend on whether the department built a new permanent structure or used prefabricated classrooms, according to Van Bramer’s office.

The Woodside school predicts enrollment will grow next fall; however, PS 11 reached 17 percent overcapacity this year.

To hold all these students, the school uses 20-year-old temporary transportable units in the back. PS 11 Principal Anna Efkarpides said the units have a shelf life of about 10 years.

“We need to remove the transportables; their lifespan has expired,” Efkarpides said.

PTA member Michelle Lederman said because of overcrowding students were eating lunch too early or too late. Also, her first grade twins, Leah and Ava, who attend class in the mini-school in a classroom of 27, do not have the space to sit in a circle, she said.

The mini-school is a tin-roof structure, which also has a leaky roof , Lederman said.

“It’s not appropriate for children to be taught in places that leak,” Efkarpides said.

Leah said she likes going to school at PS 11. The leak isn’t in her classroom, she said, just in the hallway.

In February, the SCA bought property on 39th Avenue and 57th Street. Construction should begin on a 440 seat-school in the spring or summer of 2013, with tentative opening in September 2015.

Neighbors to the new lot voiced concerns about noise and traffic at the Community Board 2 meeting two weeks ago.

“This would be hundreds of students and lots of buses going down these streets," said Woodside resident Jim Condes at a later time. He also said he wished there were more town hall meetings about the new construction.

Additionally, there are four other schools planned for the area. IS/HS 404 in Hunters Point is under construction and slated to open in Long Island City in September 2013. The school has a capacity of 1,071 students.

PS 313, located at 45-46 42 St. in Sunnyside, will serve 432 kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The new school is expected to open in September 2014.

Lastly, PS/IS 312, in Long Island City, is under construction. The pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school will have 650 seats and will be in compliance with the NYC Green Schools Guidelines. The school is scheduled to open in September 2013.

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