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News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott and Local Officials Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at P.S./I.S. 78 in Queens


The New Building, Which Opened on the First Day of School, is Part of the Queens West Development Site

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and local officials today held a ribbon cutting ceremony at P.S./I.S. 78 in Long Island City, Queens. The new, state-of-the-art building opened September 9 to serve 578 students in P.S./I.S. 78 and P.S. 277 – The Riverview School, a District 75 school. The new building is located at 46-08 5th Street, a short distance from its original location at Center Boulevard. P.S./I.S. 78 is housing its younger grades from pre-K through second grade in its original building. The new building houses students in third through sixth grades and will grow each year to include seventh and eighth grades. The new building is fully air-conditioned and accessible for students with disabilities. It provides 21 standard classrooms and 8 special education classrooms, as well as an art room, speech room, music suite, two science labs, a library, gym, auditorium, cafeteria and kitchen, and outdoor playground.

Chancellor Walcott was joined at the event by Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm, School Construction Authority CEO and President Lorraine Grillo, District 75 Superintendent Gary Hecht, District 75 Principal Susan McNulty, District 30 Superintendent Philip Composto, Assembly Member Cathy Nolan, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, P.S./I.S. 78 Principal Louis Pavone, Network Leader Nancy DiMaggio, and PTA Co-Presidents Leslie Costa and Courtney Jimenez. The $47.8 million contract award for the new building went to Leon D. DeMatteis Corp., and it was designed by Gran Kriegel Associates.

“This building offers P.S./I.S. 78 a state-of-the-art facility for the school to grow and prepare students for the older grades and for college and a career,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “P.S./I.S. 78 for the first time has a facility to help meet the demands of the growing community with science labs, an auditorium and gym, and the capability to continue its online learning programs.”

“The new building for P.S./I.S. 78 will be a welcoming addition to the community by offering more classroom space” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.  “As chair of the Assembly Education Committee, it has been my priority to secure additional funding for New York City to build additional schools so that we can begin to reduce the overcrowding in Western Queens.”

“In our Capital Plan, we noted that this neighborhood was growing and needed additional seats to meet its need, and the new building is a response to this need,” Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm said. “We are delighted to offer this new building to the community.”

“The School Construction Authority is proud to open this building for the school community, which will offer twice as many seats as the school had in its original facility,” SCA President Lorraine Grillo said. “The building has its own auditorium, gymnasium, and outdoor playground for the students.”

“We are delighted with the new building and know our A school will continue to offer the best education for our students,” P.S./I.S. 78 Principal Louis Pavone said. “We take pride in providing state-of-the-art online learning, and now we have a new building to complement the students’ skills. I want to thank the SCA, our local officials, our superintendent and the PTA for their continued support.”

“As Long Island City continues the growth that comes with being New York City’s hottest neighborhood, we must ensure that our schools and other infrastructure keep up,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “The opening of the new and improved P.S./I.S. 78 is a landmark event that represents a big step in that direction. This beautiful new building will provide our children with a state-of-the-art learning environment for years to come.”

“Today marks a milestone in the progress we have made in securing five new school sites that will all be fully operational within Western Queens over the next four years,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “The expansion of PS/IS 78 and creation of PS 277 in Long Island City will provide hundreds of students with a state-of-the art facility right in the heart of a vibrant neighborhood that has become home to thousands of new families. Our children deserve the best we can possibly provide for them and this new facility promises to have a positive impact on the education our children will receive for generations to come.”

P.S./I.S. 78 is one of 19 newly constructed school buildings that opened this year. The DOE, which oversees the SCA, opened 164 new buildings, creating over 126,000 new seats since 2002.