Majority Leader Van Bramer Announces New School in Sunnyside
On September 19, the School Construction Authority, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressman Joe Crowley, Assembly Member Cathy Nolan, and local families rallied to celebrate plans to build a new middle school at 48th Street and Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside.
“The Woodside and Sunnyside community needs a middle school,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Our community is full of young families, and we must work proactively to ensure that all of our children will be able to attend a modern, high-quality school in their neighborhood. Overcrowded schools are not fair to our children or our community. The decision to purchase and develop a school on Barnett Avenue is a tremendous victory for the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside.”
“Anytime plans to build a new school are announced, it is an exciting development. But it is incredibly welcome news for two communities that have long wrestled with school overcrowding,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “Today, we are one step closer to bringing this desperately needed middle school for families in Sunnyside and Woodside and it is in great part due to the steadfast advocacy of all the parents who helped organize this effort. I’m grateful to the School Construction Authority for working with them and our elected officials in order to make this crucial investment possible.”
“This potential new school site is another example of the School Construction Authority’s ability to provide much needed school seats for New York City’s students and families. I am proud of the SCA’s continued track record in helping to reduce overcrowding in District 30,” said Lorraine Grillo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City School Construction Authority. “I would like to thank all of the District 30 elected officials and other stakeholders for their support of our Capital Plan, which has enabled us to acquire this site for a new educational facility for the Sunnyside community.”
“Thank you for hearing from the community and meeting the needs of our children,” said Deborah Alexander and Valarie Lamour, co-presidents of Community District Education Council 30. “On behalf of the Community Education Council for District 30 and the school communities of Sunnyside and Woodside, we would like to thank the School Construction Authority, our elected officials, and the tireless efforts of the McGowans of Sunnyside for their diligence and perseverance with regard to our new middle school.”
“Community Board 2 is grateful to the School Construction Authority whom has found an acceptable location to build a new school within our district,” said Community Board 2 Chair Denise Keehan-Smith. “Parents within our community have been searching for quite some time and we look forward to the vetting process and working on a comprehensive plan to meet our educational needs.”
“We are very happy that the School Construction Authority has purchased this site,” said Sean and Deb McGowan, founders of the Sunnyside-Woodside Middle School Project. “We want to thank Councilman Van Bramer, Congressman Crowley, Assemblywoman Nolan and State Senator Mike Gianaris for listening and advocating on our behalf. We also want to thank Mayor de Blasio for putting money for this school in the budget. Over 700 people signed our petition, almost 300 people have liked our Facebook page, more than 80 people attended our rally, and between 30 and 40 people marched with us in this year’s St. Pat’s for All parade. Others attended various meetings with us and spoke during the public comments sections. This has truly been a community project. We have been honored to be the organizers. It is humbling to see our work pay off. Thanks again to all.”
School District 30, which includes most of Sunnyside and Woodside, is among the most overcrowded in the city. Over the past 6 years, Majority Leader Van Bramer has funded or built 10 new schools in Western Queens. Among these schools is PS 361 in Woodside, which opened in 2015. PS 11 in Woodside is currently undergoing an expansion that is expected to open in September 2017, and construction is underway at an annex of IS 125.