A new school is coming to Woodside and elected officials and many members of the community couldn’t be happier.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) was joined last Thursday by Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker (D-Jackson Heights), representatives from the School Construction Authority and Woodside on the Move, Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley and PS 11 principal Anna Efkarpides to break ground on PS 399, a new school set to open in 2015.
“Today marks a milestone in our efforts to address overcrowding in schools in Western Queens,” Van Bramer said. “Since I have taken office we have worked with the School Construction Authority and the community to add over 2,000 new seats in Council District 26. The addition of PS 399 and the introduction of PS 11’s annex will help ensure that the children of Woodside are given two state-of-the-art facilities where they will be provided a quality education for generations to come.”
PS 399 will be the first school built in Woodside in more than 60 years. The elementary school will be located at 39-07 57 St. and will have the capacity to serve more than 470 students from pre-K through fifth grade.
The facility will be a fully air conditioned, handicapped-accessible five-story building which will consist of 22 standard classrooms, two special education classrooms, multiple resource rooms, a music classroom, an art classroom and a “gymatorium.” It will also include a library, cafeteria, kitchen, general office, guidance office, medical office and community room.
According to Van Bramer, the addition will help alleviate overcrowding at nearby PS 11, which is operating over capacity. In January, the councilman announced plans to build an annex for PS 11 which will add 350 seats for students from Sunnyside and Woodside. The addition is scheduled to open by 2016.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring our children have every opportunity to succeed, and that starts with our schools,” state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) said. “As our community continues to grow, we must fight to guarantee our kids receive the educational resources they need. I am pleased to see this giant step forward in the fight against school overcrowding, and I am eager to continue the work that remains to be done.”
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) emphasized the importance of smaller class sizes in the outer boroughs.
“Our children need and deserve a learning environment where they can thrive and the addition of this new elementary school will help to ease the overcrowding that exists at many of the neighboring schools,” Crowley said. “Reducing class size and equipping our students with the proper resources are part of the necessary investments we must continue to make in order to ensure our future generations reach their full potential.”