March 16, By Hannah Wulkan
Local officials unveiled plans for a huge expansion to P.S. 143 in Corona, which will bring nearly 1,000 permanent seats to the school to replace decades-old classroom trailers and a mini building.
In an effort to alleviate overcrowding, State Senator Jose Peralta and the School Construction Authority revealed plans to build a five-story addition to the 34-74 113 Street school with 980 new seats today.
“Like I said many times, no child, no child, should be educated in a trailer, and I hope once this project is completed, overcrowding at PS 143 will just be a chapter of its history,” said Peralta, who has been pushing for an expansion to the school since 2013.
The new building is slated to open in September 2020, with new science labs, art and music rooms and a large cafeteria.
The building is expected to alleviate the overcrowding problem at PS 143, which was built to serve 900 students, but currently has about 1,800 students enrolled, many of whom are being educated in six classroom trailers, a mini building and an annex on 98th Street.
About 200 first grade students are currently educated in the trailers.
“These so-called temporary classroom units, or trailers, have been here for decades. And just yesterday, students in these trailers faced frigid temperatures, making it difficult for them to learn,” Peralta said.
The addition will be built on land owned by the Parks Department.
“Parks is happy that we were able to work with the School Construction Authority to design a solution that allows the school to expand, while also improving the recreational amenities in Louis Armstrong Park,” said Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.