After years of complaints, a Middle Village school is finally getting a much-needed expansion.
In 2009 P.S./I.S. 49, located at 63-60 80th St., received an expansion to grow the school into a kindergarten through eighth-grade facility. With the expansion came more students than the school could handle, so many parents from the neighborhood were forced to send their children to other schools further away.
Since that time, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley has advocated for funding to bring yet another expansion to the school. She has now secured the funding for the $31.5 million expansion project with the School Construction Authority (SCA).
“There are just too many students that live in our community that want to go to P.S./I.S. 49 because it is an excellent school,” Crowley told the students on hand for the ceremonial groundbreaking. “Today represents an investment in our community, in our children and in our collective futures.”
The school is currently bursting at the seams, serving 1,117 students, according to P.S./I.S. 49’s principal, Tom Carty.
“We needed this desperately,” Carty said of the expansion. “We are right now unable to accommodate all the families in the neighborhood. Our teachers are sharing classrooms, which works, but is less than ideal. This will really go a long way to alleviate that and better serve the kids.”
When complete, the expansion will bring P.S./I.S. 49 a new 26,000-square-foot, three-story facility, housing a larger cafeteria, 333 new seats across 12 new classrooms, four new special education classrooms, a computer lab and an exercise room. The expansion will be ready for operations in September 2017, just in time for the new school year.
The expansion is being built in a portion of the school’s playground area, which will cut down the available space for the kids to play.
“It’s much smaller, but we will still be able to get the kids outside,” Carty said. “We will have the playground for the younger kids.”
The design of this expansion will blend seamlessly into the previous expansion from 2009 and the original building, which was erected in 1933, said Chuck Heaphy from John Ciardullo P.C., the architectural firm responsible for the design.