April 25, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
An all new state-of-the-art learning annex will replace the beaten-up classroom trailers at Astoria’s P.S. 85.
Council Member Costa Constantinides, educators and community leaders were joined by parents today at the 23-70 31st Street school to announce the plans for the new building. The annex will seat 476 students and is expected to ease overcrowding. The school currently operates at 140 percent capacity.
The trailers at P.S. 85 are the last temporary classrooms in Council District 22 to be replaced following a pledge from Constantinides to enhance school facilities across the district. More than 100 pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at P.S. 85 use the trailer classrooms, which have been known to have issues with heating and cooling, and lack proper classroom technology.
“No longer will any child in this Council District have to shiver through a math lesson with his or her coat on, or suffer through hot temperatures in one of these trailers,” Constantinides said.
“Thanks to our partnership with the Department of Education, the School Construction Authority, and dedicated parents we can construct a new building that better serves the students of P.S. 85. We have been committed to removing these trailers from schools within our Council District, and I can proudly say today that our goal will be accomplished.”
The project is currently in the design phase with construction expected to start in 2020.
Philip Composto, Superintendent of School District 30, praised the new building as an opportunity to better equip Astoria students for a wide range of educational fields.
“This new building will provide our children space for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, which allows us to prepare our children for the 21st Century,” Composto said.
In addition to the new annex, a new gymnasium-auditorium will be built, which will replace the existing facilities.
Constantinides, who took office in 2014, has placed a heavy focus on improving school facilities. In 2017, he announced that a modular building at P.S. 2 in East Elmhurst will be replaced with a permanent facility. And earlier in the year, it was announced that 11 trailers at P.S. 151 in Woodside would also close.