April 12, 2021 By Christian Murray
The opening date of a number of schools undergoing construction in western Queens has been pushed back in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philip Composto, Community Superintendent of District 30, provided Community Board 2 with an update Thursday on several schools in western Queens that are under construction—and many are opening later than initially planned.
There are two schools that are opening in September on time, which were of particular concern to parents in those areas who feared that there would be a shortage of school seats.
An elementary school in Long Island City, located on Parcel F of the Hunters Point South development, will open on time in September—despite doubts last summer by officials due to city budget constraints. Furthermore, a 180-seat addition planned for P.S. 2 at 75-10 21st Ave. is also on track to open in September—as planned.
There were concerns that these openings would be delayed, since the city put a halt on school construction last year when it faced cash flow problems at the beginning of the pandemic. The pause was later lifted and the School Construction Authority made these two schools a priority.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer called it a victory that the Long Island City school– PS-384, located at 1-35 57th Ave. on Parcel F — is opening on time. “We have fought alongside the parents and school community in Hunters Point for this building and despite the COVID-19 pause on construction this building is opening.”
The shutdown, however, has had an impact on the opening date of several schools in the district.
The opening of a new high school building in Long Island City has been pushed back six months due to the city’s pause on construction.
The Academy of American Studies, which is currently operating out of two campuses, was expected to open and operate out of a new four-story building in September—but it is now scheduled to open in February 2022. The 969-seat school is going up at 40-11 28th St.—the backlot of the Newcomers High School.
Additionally, a middle school at 38-04 48th St. in Sunnyside will open a year later than initially planned. The school, which will rise five stories and seat 720 students, is now expected to open in September 2023. It will serve students from grades five to eight.
Meanwhile, the opening date for the massive 3,079-seat high school planned for 51-30 Northern Blvd. in Woodside has been pushed back two years. It was originally planned to open in September 2023. The city now expects to open it in September 2025, Composto said.
Composto also said that P.S 341, which will have 572 seats and go up on Parcel C of the Hunters Point South development, is planned to open in September 2024. This will be a stand-alone school adjacent to the two TF Cornerstone towers that are nearing completion.
In addition, a new 476-seat annex at P.S. 85 in Astoria is slated to open in Sept 2024.
Despite the pandemic-related delays, Van Bramer said it’s a great achievement that so many schools are currently going up in the district.
“The fact that we have 5 new school buildings either under construction or soon to be under construction is a major victory for parents and students in our district,” he said.