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CM Won announces construction on new Hunters Point South school will begin this fall

Council Member Julie Won announces a new school will finally built on Parcel C across from the new Malt Drive residential complex that will begin leasing its 1,386 units this summer. Photo courtesy of Julie Won’s office

May 31, 2024 By Bill Parry

With the massive Malt Drive residential complex nearing completion behind her, Council Member Julie Won announced Thursday that construction on a new school in Hunters Point South will break ground this fall with completion by the 2027-2028 school year.

The 572-seat school will be located at 2nd Street and 54th Avenue, and when taken together with a new elementary school currently underway at 23-10 43rd Avenue in Court Square, represents over 1,100 new school seats coming to Long Island City within the next three years.

“This is a step in the right direction to ensure that all students of all ages are able to attend public schools in their neighborhood,” Won said. “This is in direct response to a real problem raised by local parents regarding the shortage of local public school seats.”

Won added that New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) has committed to including middle school seats at the new location, either by siting a K-8 school there or potentially opening a new stand-alone middle school that could incubate at Parcel C as a permanent location for a middle school is identified.

NYCPS will begin an extensive community engagement in advance of the opening of Court Square and Parcel C to review programming and admissions options for both sites.

From kindergarten to middle school, we heard from many parents that they would have to leave the public school system or the neighborhood entirely to continue their children’s education,” Won said. “As a local parent, education has been a top priority since taking office. I am thrilled to announce the additional 1,100+ seats that will be added to Long Island City to serve Kindergarten-8th grade students in our neighborhood. I look forward to working with the community and City Hall to make sure we also build a new dedicated Middle School in Long Island City through the One LIC Plan.”

The new school building at Parcel C will include 7 Pre-K/K classrooms with bathrooms, 15 classrooms, 2 special education rooms, 2 speech resource rooms, and 8 District 75 classrooms with bathrooms and supporting administrative space. Other features will include art, music, and science resource rooms, a library, a gymnatorium with a stage, a kitchen and cafeteria, guidance, medical, and main office suites, and a play yard dedicated to early childhood education.

“As we make important decisions about school construction, it is critically important that we listen to the feedback of every individual community,” Schools Chancellor David Banks said. “We have heard the community asking for new middle school seats, and we will do our due diligence to fully explore all options to meet this need.”

The 1.43 million-square-foot Malt Drive complex will begin leasing on its 1,386 residences later in the summer, joining the Gotham Point complex along the Newtown Creek waterfront.

The massive 1.43 million-square-foot rental complex that will bring nearly 1,400 residences to Hunters Point South. Rendering by Binyan

“LIC has grown five times faster than the rest of New York City as a whole in the past decade and our public infrastructure has not kept up,” State Senator Kristen Gonzalez said. “It’s not just about bricks and mortar; this new k-8 school is an investment in LIC’s future—a place where families, students, and teachers can thrive.”

Congress Member Nydia Velázquez welcomed the announcement, saying, “This is a win for working families in our community.”

Administrators from the Community Education Council for District 30 (CEC30) agreed. “Long Island City is the fastest-growing neighborhood in our district, and it has been evident with every new high-rise being built that we would need new schools to accommodate the many new families moving to the area,” CEC30 President Wendy Toussaint said. “That need is now even more urgent, as the city will be reducing class sizes.”

CEC30 Superintendent Lisa Hidalgo added that the creation of additional middle school seats would meet the increased need in Long Island City.

“The District 30 Superintendent’s team is excited to continue to work with families and our NYCPS and City agency partners to design new schools at these sites that will meet community needs,” Hidalgo said. “I’m proud of the strong school options we have here and District 30 and am looking forward to being able to offer more as our district continues to grow.”

The new schools were delayed for years. “Parcel C was initially proposed to our CEC in 2018 with a planned opening in 2022; however, the timeline has been repeatedly delayed, which caused considerable disappointment and frustration within the community,” Toussaint said. “CEC30 looks forward to working with the School Construction Authority, District Planning, and NYCPS to ensure these new schools offer the best to generations of students and their families.”

School Construction Authority President and CEO Nina Kubota said she appreciated how long the community has waited for a new school to rise on Parcel C.

“This new school will offer state-of-the-art facilities that support a comprehensive learning experience for all students in the community,” Kubota said. “A special thanks to Council Member Won and our other elected officials who supported our Capital Plan and helped make these seats a reality.”

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