Howard Beach public schools are bursting at the seams — operating near or above 100 percent capacity.
“I know the demand for school seats,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “I know in our school district, we have very overcrowded classrooms.”
And while the councilman stressed there are no “deals” in place, he’s hopeful the School Construction Authority can work with land on the Brooklyn-Queens border.
Ulrich first announced at the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association on May 30 that the SCA is looking into the possibility of building a school near just east of Brooklyn.
Right now, the agency in the coming days is set to study the possibility of placing a building there.
The SCA did not return requests for comment by press time.
There are five vacant adjacent lots near Blake and Dumont avenues and Ruby and Emerald streets right off Linden Boulevard — with an agreement for a sixth lot to be added to that.
The streets straddle the Queens-Brooklyn line and just barely fall within Howard Beach’s 11414 ZIP code.
Overcrowding is a problem all throughout School District 27.
“Anyone who says we don’t need another school doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” said Ulrich, who added he envisions any building at the proposed site to be a K-8 institution.
“If I had my way it will be a K-8 school,” he said.
In Howard Beach and Lindenwood, PS 146, PS 202 and PS 232 are also K-8.
But that will be determined by the Department of Education and the Community Education Council.
Should a school be feasible at the site, the area would have to be cleaned up and remediated by the city.
Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association, said she was “pleased” to hear Ulrich’s announcement at her group’s meeting late last month.
“Because it would mean more children would get to go to school in their own neighborhood,” Ariola said. “We get a lot of complaints about overcrowding.”
According to advocacy group Class Size Matters, more than 30 buildings in SD 27 operate at more than 100 percent capacity and the number of seats needed to bring it to 100 or lower is about 3,800.
The SCA’s capital plan for fiscal years 2015-19 allocates 456 seats.
“We need extra seats,” Ariola said.