You are reading

School Construction Authority Stops Work on New School Buildings, Cites COVID and Budget Woes

A new school building for P.S. 384 is going up in Hunters Point in Long Island City (Photo: Queens Post)

Sept. 8, 2020 By Christian Murray

The School Construction Authority has halted work on building new schools throughout the city, officials told Queens Community Board 2 Thursday.

The SCA has put the construction of new schools on hold since March and is currently working on getting schools ready for 2020.

The agency attributes the stoppage to COVID-19 and the city’s fiscal crisis.

“We were requested by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget to pause the majority of our work with the exception of 2020 openings… and a small number of other jobs,” said Benjamin Goodman, a representative for the SCA, at Community Board 2’s monthly meeting Thursday.

The completion date of many schools currently under construction is now uncertain.

Community Board 2 members asked the SCA what the prospects were for schools going up in Long Island City and Sunnyside. For instance, the SCA is expected to complete a new elementary school building in Long Island City by September 2021 and a middle school on 48th Street in Sunnyside by 2022.

Goodman said that the SCA will be in a better position to determine whether the construction timeline needs to change once OMB gives it permission to resume work.

“Once we are officially allowed to begin work again—when OMB gives us authorization—we will meet with general contractors and get a sense of where things are at…and what the time line will look like,” Goodman said.

Lisa Deller, Community Board 2 Chair, warned Goodman of a domino effect if the completion dates are pushed back.

For instance, a delay in the completion of the P.S. 384 building in Long Island City would cause significant problems, she noted.

The new building is expected to accommodate the students at P.S.384Q, an incubator school that was established at 27-35 Jackson Ave in 2018.

A delay would cause significant overcrowding problems since the Jackson Avenue incubator site is not big enough to accommodate the influx of students expected to go to P.S. 384 in the 2021/2022 school year.

Michael Mirisola, vice-president of the SCA, who was also part of the board meeting said the agency was aware of the concern.

“We have those situations in several places around town and I did bring that back to the SCA,” Mirisoli said. “We understand it, we get it.”

He said the SCA has put together a list of new schools deemed “a priority” that has been forwarded to the OMB and the mayor’s office. The new P.S. 384 building and the middle school on 48th Street in Sunnyside are on the list.

Mirisoli said the money is there to complete the schools but he is not sure when the OMB will allow work to resume. He said SCA capital plan is still intact and fully funded.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

2 Comments

Click for Comments 

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Queens Special Victims Squad joins search for alleged rapist in Downtown Flushing: NYPD

Detectives from the Queens Special Victims Squad have joined the urgent manhunt for the sexual predator who allegedly beat and raped a 53-year-old woman inside a commercial building in Downtown Flushing on the night of Sunday, July 14.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing responded to a 911 call after the victim was attacked at 11:06 p.m. inside the business in the vicinity of Prince Street and 40th Road near the Bland Houses NYCHA complex after the perpetrator punched her multiple times in the head before forcibly raping her, police said. The stranger then fled on foot in an unknown direction.

South Ozone Park gunman faces 25 years to life in prison for murder at Richmond Hill auto repair shop: DA

A South Ozone Park man was indicted by a Queens grand jury in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old celebrating his 24th birthday in 2022.

Curtis Benjamin, 27, of 113th Street, was arraigned Thursday in Queens Supreme Court on a 14-count indictment charging him with murder, attempted murder and other related crimes for gunning down Justin Baerga and wounding three other partygoers during the attack.