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SCA announces site for new 547-seat school at Court Square in Long Island City

SCA
Photo courtesy of SCA.

New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) President and CEO Nina Kubota on Nov. 21 announced that a site has been decided upon for a new 547-seat school at the heart of Court Square. The proposed site is located at 23-10 43rd Ave., on the south side of 43rd Avenue between 23rd Street and 24th Street.

“This proposed site acquisition will fulfill a long-standing commitment to the Court Square community and is the culmination of an extensive, multi-year search in the neighborhood,” Kubota said. “A special thanks should go to our elected officials who supported our Capital Plan to fund this vital project and to area stakeholders who fought hard to make this school a reality.”

The location was picked by SCA after multiple years of searching. This new school will help to fill a need for more seats in the neighborhood. The proposed site, set to be acquired by SCA on behalf of the New York City Department of Education, is a lot estimated to be approximately 21,156 square feet.

“I am happy to announce that we have finally identified the site for the long-awaited Court Square elementary school for over 500 young scholars,” Councilwoman Julie Won said. “More than 3,000 school-aged children living in the area will now be able to walk to school within their own neighborhood and receive the quality education they deserve. We thank the community for their patience and their advocacy to continue pushing for this school to be built as promised since 2018. Thank you to the mayoral administration and the School Construction Authority for prioritizing the students in our community.”

The school is expected to be built at the location will likely serve students from pre-K to fifth grade. Some of the features SCA plans to include in the school include a kitchen/cafeteria, a combination gymnasium/auditorium and standard program spaces, including a library, music, art and exercise rooms. A D75 component is also expected to be included in order to aid students with special needs.

“For more than a decade, Long Island City has experienced dramatic growth, becoming one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the entire country,” City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said. “This community needs additional educational infrastructure to serve its families with children in the school system. The announcement of a new 547-seat elementary school in the Court Square area fulfills a vision of intentional planning for Long Island City and represents an important investment for the residents of this neighborhood. I thank Councilwoman Julie Won for her leadership and advocacy, my colleagues in government for their hard work and community members who fought for this long-awaited victory.”

The proposed purchase of the site will be brought from SCA to Community Board 2 and Community Education Council 30. Additionally, comments will be solicited from the public. Based on a statement made by Community Education Council President Whitney Thomas Toussaint, wherein she praised SCA for coming up with a location for the school, the proposal may prove promising.

“I am thrilled by the announcement of these long-awaited plans for a new elementary school in Court Square,” Toussaint said. “Long Island City is the fastest growing neighborhood in our district and it has been clear for a long time that we would need new schools built to accommodate the many new families moving to the area. That need is now even more urgent, as the city will be reducing class sizes over the next four years. CEC 30 looks forward to working with the SCA and the DOE to ensure that the new building and school offer the best to generations of students and their families.”

A timeline for the completion of the school is dependent upon the public review process and approval by the City Council, as well as design and demolition of the existing building. The Court Square area was re-zoned in 2001. This resulted in mass residential development adding to the need for additional school seats in the area.

“I am very happy to see that the School Construction Authority has chosen a site for a new elementary school in Court Square,” Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said. “The new school will create a true education hub in western Queens — with Information Technology High School as a neighbor and CUNY School of Law and LaGuardia Community College a short walk away. As Long Island City continues to grow and more families commit to making Court Square a vibrant community, the addition of 547 elementary school seats is a critical component in its success. My deep gratitude to Court Square Civic Association, Gantry Parent Association, the various PTA and community parent groups and the District 30 Community Education Council for their work and advocacy.”

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