2000-12-02 / Front Page

New School Proposed

By John C. McLoughlin

A new 704-seat elementary school has been proposed by the School Construction Authority and the New York City Board of Education to relieve overcrowding of elementary schools in the east end of the Rockaway peninsula.

PS 253 will be constructed on the site of the former Far Rockaway Jewish Center at 1295 Central avenue. The proposal calls for a 67,000 square foot building, a 2,400 square foot early childhood playground, and a 13,000 square foot play yard, at an estimated construction cost of approximately $24 million, which includes the cost of demolishing the existing vacant structure. The school will have 650 seats for District 27 students and 54 seats for District 75 (special ed) students, as mandated by law.

Community School District 27, under the leadership of Superintendent Matthew Bromme, identified overcrowding as a major issue in the Far Rockaway community. With new housing being built throughout the peninsula, there is a demand for more classroom space.

According to documents received by The Wave from CSD 27 and Community Board 14, several schools on the east end of the peninsula are overutilized. The schools are: PS 104, 2601 Mott avenue, 743-seat building capacity, 839 students enrolled; PS 106, 180 Beach 35 street, 165 capacity, 296 enrolled; PS 197, 825 Hicksville road, 835 capacity, 975 enrolled; and PS 215, 535 Briar place, 701 capacity, 837 enrolled.

The Land Use Committee of Community Board 14 will meet on Thursday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Teaching Center, 277 Beach 20 street (first floor), to discuss the proposed school. The meeting is open to the public for viewing purposes only. On Tuesday, December 12, at 7:45 p.m., Community Board 14 will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed school. Residents are urged to attend.

If approved at the community board level, the plans will go to the New York City Council for a vote. Building of the school will be the next step after City Council approval.

Bromme expects the school plans to be approved by both the community board and City Council.

The anticipated completion and occupancy date is September 2003.


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