Long Island City school to cost less to construct – QNS.com

Long Island City school to cost less to construct

By Alex Davidson

Work on an addition at a Long Island City high school will cost 29 percent less per square foot than seven previous schools built by the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday.

The new building at Queens Vocational High School at 37-02 47th St. includes a 650-seat addition that brings more classrooms, a library, a gym, offices, shop classrooms, a kitchen, a cafeteria and two elevators to the educational institution. The project will cost $315 per square foot rather than $442 per square foot — a savings of $127 per square foot, according to Bloomberg.

“New York City schools are desperate for classroom seats,” the mayor said during a press conference at the high school Monday. “By lowering the costs of construction and renovation through efficiency, we build more schools, create more seats and improve the education system in our city.”

The project at the 70-year-old high school will add 86,400 square feet at the site, Bloomberg said. Work begins on the project in July and is scheduled for completion in September 2005, the mayor said.

The high school is the first school to receive an addition under the current capital plan, the mayor said.

Bloomberg was joined by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and the School Construction Authority’s William Goldstein, chair of the city agency charged with the task of building city schools.

The mayor and Klein announced in October the creation of one centralized agency responsible for school construction and renovations, effectively combining the SCA and the city Department of Education’s Division of School Facilities. Bloomberg attributed the cost savings for building the facility in Long Island City to the consolidation scheme.

He said a key element of the process that saved the city money was a competitive bidding process for the construction contract, which was awarded to Turner Construction. He also said the new SCA has increased its efficiency and accountability by placing all capital planning, budgeting and operations under one roof.

“The building of the addition to Queens Vocational High School and the participation of Turner Construction demonstrate the rapid effectiveness of the reforms implemented by the SCA,” Klein said.

According to statistics provided by Borough President Helen Marshall’s office, Queens high schools are running at 117.7 percent of capacity, meaning there is a deficit of 10,756 seats boroughwide. Manhattan and Staten Island, in comparison, are under capacity and have a surplus of seats in their districts.

Overall high school enrollment in the borough is expected to increase from 256,812 this year to 280,448 by 2011, the borough president’s statistics reveal.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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