June 14, 2020 By Christian Murray
The rendering of a high school slated to go up on Northern Boulevard was released last week and its design was not lavished with praise.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos, whose district borders the school site, as well as many residents said it looked like more like a jail than a school. The rendering–first released by the Queens Post– was subject to harsh criticism on social media.
Ramos said that she was not happy with the design and called the School Construction Authority for it to change. She said it was out of character to the neighborhood and that a more traditional design was needed—like P.S. 398 Q/ The Hector Figueroa School that opened in September 2019.
I found out about this from a neighbor’s Facebook post. It’s across the street from my district and would serve young minds #SeenIn13 from Woodside Houses and the area. I mean. C’mon. You tell me. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? https://t.co/hwUwiHVzIO
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) June 11, 2020
The SCA plans to build a 3,079-seat high school at 51-30 Northern Blvd., on the site of the former Sports Authority and adjacent parking lot. The initial plans called for a six-story building.
“I picked up the phone and called [School Construction Authority] Commissioner Lorraine Grillo,” Ramos said. “She assured me that they would rethink it and come up with a new design.”
Ramos said she was disappointed that the SCA did not seek community feedback as it put the design together. She said she saw the design for the first time on social media.
Ramos said that she was assured that the community would become more involved in the design.
The school will house three high school programs, including a District 75 program for students with specialized needs. The SCA aims to open it in September 2023, although that date may change. Progress has been slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic, a SCA spokesperson said.