Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein have announced that 23 new school buildings with more than 13,000 seats will open at the start of the 2009-10 school year. This new construction, along with the 18 new buildings that opened last year, represents the most-ever new classroom seats to come on line in a two-year period since the School Construction Authority was created in 1988.
The new buildings include the newly-constructed P.S. 65 located in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn and were funded through the $13.1 billion 2005-2009 Capital Plan, the largest school construction effort in the city’s history earning the SCA the title of New York Construction magazine’s “Owner of the Year” for 2009.
P.S. 65 also known as the “The Little Red Schoolhouse,” formerly occupied two separate buildings, and will now move into a single 97,000-sq-ft, 700-seat facility and will be complete with an auditorium, air conditioning, wireless internet access, a 5,400-sq-ft gymnasium with bleachers and a locker room, a cafeteria, science labs, and art and music rooms as well as seats for a Special Education program.
“This is an example of the extraordinary design and construction work that the SCA, along with our partner in the architecture and construction communities, has completed this year and over the last several years,” said SCA President Sharon L. Greenberger.
Between 2002 and 2012, the Department of Education is on track to construct more than 110,000 new school seats across the city, with more than 82,000 seats already completed in order to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn in modern facilities fully equipped to prepare them for success. And for the first time, the city projects enrollment by neighborhood, taking into account areas of population growth and housing development within school districts in order to reduce pockets of overcrowding.
Some of the 23 new buildings, including the building for P.S. 65, will be homes for existing schools. Other new buildings will house schools that have opened for the first time in September 2009. Still others will be additions or annexes for schools that are expanding. The SCA, which manages new school construction and renovation of the city’s 1,200 existing school buildings, oversaw every phase of this year’s openings-from school siting through the completion of the construction process.
“An investment in new school buildings is an investment in our students and in our city’s future,” said Chancellor Klein in a statement.