2018-09-12 / Features

Propose New School At Former Sports Authority Site

BY LIZ GOFF


The site of multiple new schools being proposed by the School Construction Authority, at the moment a used car lot, and formerly occupied by a Sports Authority store on Northern Boulevard and Broadway in Woodside. 
Photo Vinny DuPre The site of multiple new schools being proposed by the School Construction Authority, at the moment a used car lot, and formerly occupied by a Sports Authority store on Northern Boulevard and Broadway in Woodside. Photo Vinny DuPre The School Construction Authority (SCA) is proposing development of a massive school “campus” at a site formerly occupied by a Sports Authority store on Northern Boulevard and Broadway in Woodside.

Preliminary plans call for development of a multiple-use school building at 51-30 Northern Boulevard, located within District School Board 30 in Queens. The district encompasses neighborhoods booming with residential development, including Astoria, Dutch Kills, parts of Long Island City, Jackson Heights and Woodside, and is often described as one of the largest and most congested school districts in New York City.

The agency’s original concept was to develop a 1,016-seat high school on a portion of the 136,895-square-foot lot, conveniently located at a transportation hub in Woodside. The SCA was recently able to negotiate terms to acquire the entire lot from owner, Pine Tree Realty Corporation, paving the way for a unique campus-style development that would house multiple schools – including a high school with up to 2,500 seats.

SCA officials said Community Board 2 and the City Council must review and approve terms of the sale before ownership of the property can be transferred to the city.

As soon as the city signs off on the sale, the SCA can get down to the nuts and bolts of designing the new school building, an agency spokesperson said. “Then we can sit down and decide exactly what we’re going to build here,” Michael Mirisola, director of SCA external affairs said. “It’s not going to be one school,” Mirisola said. “It could be two schools or three, and there might also be a District 75 (special education) portion.”

Mirisola envisions a building with ground floor space for classrooms, maximizing use of available space. Just how many schools would be located within the campus is up to SCA’s colleagues at the Department of Education, Mirisola said.

The SCA expects the project to be completed and the building ready for occupancy before bells ring in the first day of school in 2023. The current estimated price of the project is $112 million – a number that is likely to change.

Got ideas or comments on the new school building? Submit them to the New York City School Construction Authority at sites@nycsca.org or mail them to New York City School Construction Authority, 30-30 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101 – Attn: Ross J. Holden.

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