Queens schools are some of the most overcrowded in the city and the use of trailers has long been a popular remedy to the overflow. But one school in Woodside will finally get back its playground space and another will provide students with real classrooms after more than a decade.
P.S. 151, located at 50-05 31st Ave., contains 11 trailers in its playground to house students who attend P.S. 225, a District 75 school that provides education for autistic children. The trailers act as classrooms for students who are 5 to 17. Once the trailers are removed, students at P.S. 225 will attend P.S. 397 next year, the site of the former Most Precious Blood Catholic School.
Councilman Costa Constantinides, Borough President Melinda Katz and School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo announced on March 13 that the Panel for Educational Policy would vote to approve the move at its April meeting.
Currently, only a pre-K program is housed at P.S. 397. There is enough room at the Long Island City School, located at 32-52 37th St., for 100 students to relocate.
“Our community has long advocated for the removal of trailers from the PS 151 playground to create more much-needed outdoor space and to find a permanent learning space for Q255 students,” Constantindes said. “We have been working with our partners Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and SCA President Lorraine Grillo to find a long-term solution. Our students require permanent educational space that’s indoors, rather than in temporary units or trailers. All children should have adequate recreational and playground space.”
While P.S. 255 will receive permanent classroom space students at P.S. 151 will get back adequate playground space.
School District 30, which includes Woodside schools, is the city’s second most overcrowded district. Parents have long called for more schools in the area, which also encompasses Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.
Two new elementary schools will be built in Long Island City and a middle school is planned for Sunnyside. Parents still struggle with getting their children into pre-K in western Queens and an influx of families moving to these neighborhoods will only exacerbate the need for additional schools.
“Classroom trailers should never be a permanent solution to school overcrowding,” said Katz, who has made it a priority to remove trailers in the borough. “We are thrilled for the students and teachers of P.S. 255 who will be able to resume in real school buildings.