ASTORIA, QUEENS — The city is set to resume work on two new school buildings in Astoria and Long Island City, months after the COVID-19 pandemic and related budget woes brought school construction projects to a halt.
Construction will begin again on a $29 million addition to P.S. 2 and a brand-new school building on 57th Avenue in Hunters Point, both of which were scheduled to open in time for the 2021-2022 school year, School Construction Authority spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said.
Ortiz said the agency will resume work on both projects in the coming days to meet the September 2021 target opening date.
The P.S. 2 annex, announced in 2017, is replacing a set of "temporary" classroom units that have stuck around at the elementary school for more than two decades. The three-story building will have room for 180 students and will be air-conditioned and fully accessible.
"This crisis has shown how badly we need new, state-of-the-art school space, so I'm thrilled construction of the P.S. 2 annex can continue," City Council Member Costa Constantinides said.
The new school building in Hunters Point, P.S. 384, will provide classroom space for an influx of children who attend a neighboring preschool and are expected to enroll in the school next year, according to the LIC Post.
an "incubator" site at 27-35 Jackson Ave. until construction on the new building is done.students are being taught at
"This is good news after the building was put on pause due to COVID & budget issues," City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer tweeted.
Most school construction work stopped in March, after the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget stopped releasing the money for projects that had technically been funded but were due to open later than 2020, the LIC Post reported earlier this month.
In addition to the Queens projects, the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget is unlocking funds for a number of school projects in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.
Constantinides, who represents Astoria in the City Council, is also calling on the office to release $50,000 in funding that he earmarks each year for school technology upgrades in his district.
In past years, Constantinides said, the city didn't dole out those funds until January.