Build it and they will come.
Relief is on the way for Sunset Park’s overcrowded schools as ground was officially broken for a new school, P.S. 746, which will be constructed at 278 59th Street.
Elected officials, and representatives of the School Construction Authority (SCA), Community Board 7 and School District 20 were among those gathered at the site for the ceremony on Monday, August 28.
“This is such an important day for District 20 on a number of levels,” said Karina Costantino, superintendent of District 20. “We are going to be having two schools in the building, which is very exciting.” Besides an elementary school, the site will contain an intermediate school for the arts.
The school will be five floors and include a state-of-the-art library, auditorium and playground.
Costantino also mentioned that former CEC 20 President Laurie Windsor played a key role in bringing the school to the site.
“She and I would drive around in our cars and look for vacant property,” she said. “She worked tirelessly on securing this site working with the councilmember and Community Board 7. Wonderful thing happens when everyone gets together for the same reason. This site was discovered by the Site Committee Chair Joan Botti who is with us today. She had a great eye for where we can build.”
“In Sunset Park, we all know we face severe overcrowding in Districts 20 and 15, but relief is on the horizon,” added Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “This new school will bring desperately needed seats in a modern facility after many years of stalled school construction in Sunset Park. We now have five sites on the way and this one is the largest and furthest along. About a quarter of all the new schools being built in New York City are coming to this district.”
Nonetheless, work still needs to be done to make sure the school provides maximum benefits to the community, he stressed. “This site represents opportunities but also represents challenges,” Menchaca said. “This school will be placed in a neighborhood that is changing rapidly. Traffic, air quality and transportation amenities must be kept in mind as we integrate this school into our community. We should celebrate this new school and work on it in the context of this neighborhood, an immigrant and working-class neighborhood.”
“I want to thank the leaders of District 20, its task force and Community Board 7 for their assistance and guidance in making this new school a reality. Sunset Park needs a new school and I am proud to have secured state funds to make this building a reality,” added Assemblymember and candidate for the 38th Council District seat Felix Ortiz. “Our children must always come first. Nothing compares to a good quality education.”
“Supporting new schools is of utmost importance as our children’s education needs a strong foundation,” added Councilmember Vincent Gentile in a statement. “As these doors open for our youth, so too will it help open doors for them later in life.”