David Porter School to get playground extension

By Tom Momberg

The David Porter School, PS 94Q in Little Neck, will soon be getting a much-anticipated addition to its playground after state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) allocated about $300,000 in state funding for the project.

The playground in the back of the school building at 41-77 Little Neck Parkway is old and too small to accommodate more than a class or two at a time. So the school, which enrolls over 380 children every year from kindergarten through fifth grade, takes some classes across the street to nearby Admiral Park, for which parents must sign consent forms.

There is, however, some vacant green space adjacent to the existing playground on school property, which the school administration has been hoping to use for an expansion.

“As everyone in Little Neck knows, there is a tremendous traffic problem,” Avella said. “It would be much nicer if we could extend the playground here to this vacant space, so the kids could come out directly, and wouldn’t have to cross the street and worry about the safety hazards.”

In Avella’s joint proposal with the school for project funding, the plan calls for increased space, additional playground equipment, resurfacing the area with safety padding, benches and new fencing.

“It’s nice to get something that’s really much needed for our school. As you can see, it’s very small here, and you can’t have enough students come out here for recess every day,” PS 94Q Principal Laura Avakians said. “Safety is very important for us, and this was at the top of our list to reach out and see what could be done.”

Avella said the next step is for the city to submit its application for the grant money the senator set aside. From there, it may take up to a year for construction to begin.

The project would require the removal of a few trees, which over time have swallowed the fencing that separates the current playground from the vacant green space.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.