City to open five new Queens schools next year to combat overcrowding

December 01, 2009 10:03AM

The city expects to open five new schools and expand three existing ones in Queens next year, combating the borough’s well-documented problem of overcrowded classrooms. In addition to Forest Hills’ new $158 million, three-school Metropolitan Avenue campus, which will make room for 2,000 more students, Richmond Hill’s Public School 273 is getting a new $23 million home. In Jackson Heights, the city is looking to lease the former Blessed Sacrament School to use as an elementary school in the fall, and in Jamaica, 150 Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School students will be able to enjoy additional space in their new $71 million building. Other expanding schools include Public School 13 in Elmhurst and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Astoria. Still, Isaac Carmignani, president of Community Education Council District 30, said the new construction won’t be sufficient to house the borough’s oversized schoolchildren population. “We probably need to add a few thousand seats in that side of the district to get us where we need to be,” he said. [NYDN]