By Carlotta Mohamed
City and state elected officials joined school leadership from District 25 to celebrate the opening of a new building at PS 24Q Andrew Jackson School last week.
On Friday, Sept. 28, at PS 24Q — located at 45-57 Union St. in Flushing — state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing), and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) cut the ribbon on a new four-story, state-of-the-art facility.
The new expansion includes a wide array of improvements for the entire school including: 488 new seats for every grade, 28 new classrooms, a rooftop playground, a dance studio, science and technology labs, a music room, an art studio with kiln, and a Pre-K program.
“Today is a special day for PS24Q as it opens up even greater possibilities for our students and community,” said Principal Debra Cassidy. “PS24Q has always prided ourselves for our stellar instruction as well as our safe and supportive environment, all the while dreaming of what we would be able to do if we had a larger space with state of the art facilities.”
“With our new building, our youngest students are able to attend Pre-K with their older siblings, our kindergarten students have returned from PS 107Q, and all of our children have the opportunities to explore in their new music, dance and art studios, create and experiment in their technology, science and STEM labs, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in their classrooms,” Cassidy added.
PS 24Q, which currently has 1,046 enrolled students, had four trailers in its school yard for the past 20 years where first and second graders had classes. Additionally, an old one-story extension that was built in 1958 which housed four kindergarten classes was torn down to develop the new four-story academic building.
According to a spokeswoman from the school, the expansion at PS 24Q began in July 2015 and ongoing construction and improvements will be slated for completion by March 2020.
Everyday for the past three years during construction, 125 Kindergarten students were transported to and from PS 107, the spokeswoman said.
The overcrowding classrooms led Cassidy to fight the city to approve expansion armed with parents’ opinions and their approval of the children being transported out of the school in order for construction to occur, the spokeswoman said.
While the expansion is currently in use, construction is underway to provide two additional classrooms, lobby renovations, bathrooms, and offices for the special education team, parent coordinator and after school program, according to Cassidy.
Koo said the new expansion will provide critical overcrowding relief and instructional space to one of their area’s flagship elementary schools.
“Flushing is undergoing a period of rapid growth, and it is imperative that the infrastructure of our schools keeps pace with the population,” said Koo.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha