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Politics

Constantinides, Officials Announce Addition to be Built at P.S. 2

October 21, 2017

ASTORIA – Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides, and NYC School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo announced on October 20 that an addition will be built at P.S. 2. They were joined by P.S. 2 Principal Amy Goldman, PTA President Nicoletta Joseph, educators and parents. The addition will replace the modular building that is currently used in the schoolyard, which will provide a permanent indoor learning space for students at P.S. 2.

The structure, which hosts approximately 120 P.S. 2 students, was originally built as a temporary place to house classrooms due to overcrowding, but has remained a permanent fixture at the school for about twenty years. These types of modular buildings separate some students from the main school building, making it difficult for them to feel a sense of unity with their fellow schoolmates. The structure also renders the schoolyard less useful for outdoor physical activity.

Parents, teachers, and other community members expressed these concerns about the structure to Constantinides and Katz. The elected officials and the community advocated for the removal of the structure for years, and worked collaboratively with the SCA to find a solution.

Building an addition will bring students back into the main P.S. 2 building permanently, unifying them with the rest of the student body. The capital project will begin the design phase soon, which typically lasts one year. Construction is expected to begin after the design is complete, at which point the modular building will be removed to make space for the addition. Students will be supported in the main school building for the duration of the construction.

Constantinides said, “Our students deserve a permanent educational space that’s indoors, rather than in modular buildings or trailers. All children should have adequate recreational and playground space. I am proud that after years of advocacy, the students at P.S. 2 will no longer be separated and will instead be able to learn in a unified environment. The addition will provide adequate space for all the school’s students. Thank you to our Borough President Katz and the School Construction Authority for their partnership in accomplishing this important goal.”

“We’ve fought so hard for the expansion of P.S. 2 and for similar solutions that address overcrowding without forcing our kids to learn in cramped, inadequate trailers. Today’s announcement will lead to a much better learning experience for the kids at P.S. 2.”

“By removing the old and out-of-date modular structure not only will all of P.S. 2 students be together in one school building, they will also have a beautiful, 21st Century learning environment to grow and thrive in,” said Lorraine Grillo, President and CEO of the NYC School Construction Authority.

Amy Goldman, Principal of P.S. 2, said, “The entire P.S. 2 community would like to express its appreciation to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, City Councilman Costa Constantinides, and all of our elected officials for their generosity in helping to make our school an even greater learning environment for our children. By providing our facility the means to flourish, our school will be able to provide an enhanced education that will help our students soar in the 21st century and beyond. With this new addition, our students will not only be able to grow, they will thrive. Our entire community will forever be changed because of the opportunity this addition will afford.”

Constantinides and Katz have made the elimination of TCU’s a priority. Earlier this year, they announced that the trailers at the P.S. 151 schoolyard would be removed and students have a permanent home in another school building.

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) also voiced support of the plan.  “Investing in our children’s education is the most important kind of investment we can make,” he said. “The expansion of P.S. 2 is exciting news for our community. Not only will it help to alleviate overcrowding, but it will also provide students with an adequate learning environment necessary for them to succeed. We must do all we can to ensure the children in our community can thrive in the classroom and I thank Borough President Katz, Council Member Constantinides, and the School Construction Authority for making the replacement of these modular buildings a top priority and for delivering for our community.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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