Hunters Point South could offer a solution to the looming loss of middle school seats in Long Island City, parents say.
In response to the Department of Education’s announcement that PS/IS 78 may soon lose middle school seats, an online petition opened on Saturday for the City to include a pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade middle school in the second phase of Hunters Point South construction.
The petition has garnered nearly 500 signatures.
“We need to start thinking about this now, before construction starts,” Sabina Omerhodzic, who posted the petition, said. “We’re overcrowded now; after people move in, it’s going to be catastrophic.”
As part of Hunters Point South Phase I a middle school was completed, with the residential towers soon to be occupied.
Construction of Phase II is slated to begin in late summer or early fall this year.
When complete, Hunters Point South will include up to 5,000 new apartments.
Coinciding with this influx of residents, PS/IS 78 may see its middle school phased out to make room for a growing number of younger children, the DOE announced in May.
For local families, the prospect of middle school truncation was devastating.
“Many parents made a big life decision based on the fact that we had PS 78, pre-K through eight,” Omerhodzic said.
“That’s why we’re spending a lot of time [looking for a solution] which we would rather spend with our families,” she continued. “But it’s OK; if we can fix it now, it would be great, and we think we can. But we need a voice with the Mayor.”
When asked for comment on the Hunters Point South proposal, DOE spokesperson Jason Fink responded, “We continue to work closely with families and our other partners in Long Island City to explore a variety of potential opportunities to meet the needs of this growing community.”
The online petition can be found by clicking here.