School Construction Authority presents highlights of 2020 capital plan for western Queens’ District 24

Angélica Acevedo/QNS

Representatives from the School Construction Authority (SCA) presented the 2020 proposed amendments to its five-year capital plan for District 24 at the Community Education Council 24’s meeting on Jan. 7, and were met with some amendments from CEC24.

Following Chancellor Richard A. Carranza and School Construction Authority President and CEO Lorraine Grillo’s unveiling of a $17 billion capital plan for fiscal years 2020-2024 — “the largest proposed school capital plan ever,” according to the city — SCA reps Michael Mirisola and Danielle Schaaff offered a few highlights of what that will mean for District 24’s community.

District 24 represents Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village, Elmhurst, Corona, Woodside and sections of Long Island City and Sunnyside.

The SCA reps gave a breakdown of what they said was now an $18.7 billion proposed investment, including $7.9 billion for over 57,000 new seats to reduce overcrowding; $750 million to make 50 percent of elementary school buildings partially or fully accessible and one-third of all buildings fully accessible; $284 million for electrical work to support air conditioning in all classrooms by 2021; $565.5 million in support of the 3-K and Pre-K for All Initiatives; and $750 million for technology enhancements.

The city is also investing $8.9 billion for capacity projects, including $180 million to remove transportable classroom units (TCUs).

The SCA proposed 1,116 new seats with the addition of three new schools. Two proposed schools, one that will serve Corona and Elmhurst and another that will serve Maspeth and South of Woodside, haven’t been sited yet.

The school that has been sited and will serve the Maspeth and South Woodside neighborhoods will be located at 69-02 Queens Blvd. It’ll have 476 seats and is slated to open in September 2024.

To address some of the chronic overcrowding in District 24’s schools, the SCA will officially open two additions in September 2020: the extension at P.S. 143 (known as the Louis Armstrong School in Corona) with 980 seats and the expansion at P.S. 128 (in Middle Village) with 440 seats.

In September 2021, they will be opening a new school with 646 seats, I.S. 419, at 111-10 Astoria Blvd.

After the SCA’s presentation, members of CEC24 and other residents had the chance to ask the SCA reps questions about how issues may become a capital project in the five-year capital plan. Some routes include Building Condition Assessment Surveys (BCAS), a problem reported to the Department of Education’s Division for School Facilities, emergency issues, and Reso A (school‐specific capital improvement or enhancement projects funded by individual grants from New York City Council Members or Borough Presidents).

Then former CEC24 president Lucy Accardo read their top five priorities for the 2020-2024 capital plan.

Those include a new extension with gym and window replacements for I.S. 61 (known as Leonardo Da Vinci) in Corona, bathroom renovation for P.S. 143 (Louis Armstrong) in Corona, auditorium upgrade for P.S. 89 in Elmhurst, and bathroom renovation for P.S. 14 in Corona.

CEC24 also voted in a new president for CEC24, member Phil Wong. Accardo said she’d help Wong transition into the role, and get ready for Chancellor Carranza’s visit with CEC24 on March 2.

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