Ridgewood could get new school

Ridgewood could be home to a new elementary and middle school by 2015, according to a proposal from the School Construction Authority (SCA).
The SCA is eyeing the space at 360 Seneca Avenue, formerly the home of St. Aloysius, for the new 444-seat school.
According to Patricia Grayson, chair of the Education Services Committee for Community Board 5, the SCA intends to demolish the existing two story, 35,000-square-foot building and construct a new one for the school.
The Education Services Committee held a public hearing with SCA representatives on Tuesday, April 10, where the community expressed concern over who will be allowed to attend the school and whether it will have amenities like that of P.S. 305, which is located across the street.
“The extra 444 seats, no matter who sits in them, they will be kids coming from that area,” Grayson said at a CB5 meeting on Wednesday, April 11. “There’s a real space issue in that area.”
She said CSA officials assured the community that the new school would have an auditorium, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, an outdoor play area and a science lab so it can serve grades kindergarden through eight.
Currently, P.S. 305 uses one space as its gym, auditorium and cafeteria.
Grayson said residents were also concerned with the construction’s affect on the community, and whether traffic safety for the new school would be addressed.
However, CSA officials said the construction noise would be kept to a minimum, which it proved capable of doing when it built Maspeth High School, she said.
“Somehow or another they must have a methodology that keeps sound down and limited while the children are being taught,” Grayson said.
In addition, she said the community is concerned about trucks bringing construction equipment in and out of the area, when there currently aren’t any traffic safety or school zone signs anywhere near P.S. 305, she said.
“Unfortunately it’s probably not going to be better than it ever was and it’s probably not going to be worse,” Grayson said, adding that she hopes the Transportation Department will install traffic safety signs when there are two schools on the street.
Since the CSA still hasn’t bought the property, Grayson estimated that the new school won’t be ready for use until 2015 or 2016.
An Education Department representative declined to comment on the proposal before the property is purchased.
Comments on the proposal can be sent to the New York City School Construction Authority, 30-30 Thompson Avenue, Long Island City, New York, 11101, before May 5.

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