New Buildings to Add More than 13,000 School Seats Across All Five Boroughs-City On Track to Create 110,000 Seats by 2012
Largest-Ever School Capital Plan Improves Efficiency, Reduces Costs, Keeps Pace with Future Demand
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today 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 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 were funded through the $13.1 billion 2005-2009 Capital Plan, the largest school construction effort in the City’s history. 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. These seats will reduce pockets of overcrowding, and will ensure that students have the opportunity to learn in modern facilities fully equipped to prepare them for success. The Mayor and Chancellor were joined at the newly-constructed building for P.S. 65, an elementary school in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, by Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott, School Construction Authority (SCA) President Sharon L. Greenberger, Assembly Member Darryl Towns, and Principal Daysi Garcia.
“Our commitment to constructing and modernizing schools is changing the landscape of our City and creating increased learning opportunities for our students citywide,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Thanks to generous support from the State and the City Council, we’ve funded school construction at unprecedented levels, and today we’re seeing this investment pay off. This year’s opening of 23 new buildings is a new milestone in a plan that will create more than 110,000 new seats across the City by 2012.”
“These new school buildings represent our commitment to ensuring that every New York City student receives an outstanding education in a facility equipped to serve his or her academic needs,” said Chancellor Klein. “An investment in new school buildings is an investment in our students and in our City’s future.”
P.S. 65, also known as “The Little Red Schoolhouse,” formerly occupied two separate buildings, and will now move into a single, 97,000 square foot, 700-seat facility. The school’s new building, complete with an auditorium, air conditioning, wireless Internet access, a 5,400 square foot gymnasium with bleachers and a locker room, also has a cafeteria, science labs, and art and music rooms, is a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit P.S. 65 students in future decades. The building will also include seats for a Special Education program.
Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, the City has lowered the cost of building new schools, improved construction efficiency, and implemented a comprehensive capital planning process that ensures school construction keeps pace with student demand. For the first time, the City projects school enrollment by neighborhood, taking into account pockets of population growth and housing development within school districts. The School Construction Authority, 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.
The School Construction Authority’s implementation of the City’s largest-ever Capital Plan earned the agency the title of New York Construction magazine’s “Owner of the Year” for 2009, a prestigious designation awarded to the region’s best builder.
Since 2002, the City has:
- Reduced pockets of overcrowding in every borough
- Constructed more than 82,000 new school seats: 19,268 in the Bronx; 19,394 in Brooklyn; 9,434 in Manhattan; 28,323 in Queens; and 5,619 in Staten Island
- Reduced the price per square foot for construction by the equivalent of 28 percent (adjusted for inflation)
- Implemented aggressive “green” building standards to ensure our new school buildings are environmentally-sound
- Conducted renovations in 85 percent of our school buildings
- Funded the construction of 280 science labs
“Over the last six years we’ve reduced overcrowding in every borough, and this year’s 23 new buildings represent another important step in the right direction,” said Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm. “By building schools in the neighborhoods that most need new school space, we’re ensuring that our new construction helps to improve learning conditions in schools across the City.”
“This beautiful school building is an example of the extraordinary design and construction work that the SCA, along with our partners in the architecture and construction communities, has completed this year and over the last several years,” said School Construction Authority President Sharon L. Greenberger. “These new buildings will provide the students of New York City with educational environments of the highest quality.”
“I’m so pleased that P.S. 65 students will continue their academic journey in a new state-of-the-art facility,” said Principal Daysi Garcia. “Our new science labs will spark environmental awareness and will encourage hands-on exploration, experimentation, and scientific discovery. Our art studio will inspire creativity and awaken students’ artistic talents. Words cannot begin to describe my heartfelt appreciation to Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein for their support of student learning and community involvement.”
Some of the 23 new buildings, including the building for P.S. 65, will be new homes for existing schools. Other new buildings will house schools that are opening for the first time in September 2009. Still others will be additions or annexes for schools that are expanding. Click here for a list of the 23 buildings opening next year, and the schools that will occupy each building.