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City Council to Vote on 3,100-Seat High School on Northern Boulevard Today

The former Sports Authority site. (Photo: QueensPost)

Sept. 12, 2019 By Christian Murray

The City Council is expected to give the School Construction Authority the green light to go ahead and build a 3,100-seat high school on Northern Boulevard when it comes up for a vote Thursday.

The high school is slated to go up on the corner of Northern Boulevard and 54th Street, on a 137,000 square foot lot that includes the former Sports Authority retail store and an adjacent parking lot.

The proposal was recently approved by the council’s Land Use committee and will be going before the council for a full vote this afternoon.

“I am fully supportive of this and I am sure my colleagues are too,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer who represents the district where the school will be built. “The truth is we need more high schools, we need more seats.”

The school will go up in District 30, which incorporates Long Island City and Astoria, as well as parts of Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights. The city aims to open the building by September 2023.

The SCA plans to open three schools in the one building, according to Van Bramer. For instance, one might include a District 75 (special education) component.

The sporting goods store closed in 2016, when the Colorado-based company liquidated all of its U.S. locations. The property and the parking lot is owned by Pine Tree Realty Corp.

The School Construction Authority had originally planned to build a 1,000 seat high-school at the location–on a smaller piece of land.

The Northern Boulevard site is divided in to several parcels and the SCA only thought it was able to acquire the piece that was occupied by the sports store. In later negotiations, it worked out a deal with Pine Tree to acquire the adjacent parking areas.

The school building will now officially accommodate 3,079 seats.

The proposed site for the high school, outlined in red. (Google Maps)

Van Bramer said the public will get to weigh in on what type of high school it will be and other factors soon.

The City has completed other buildings for high school students in western Queens in recent years. The SCA completed a middle school/high school campus at 1-50 51st Avenue in Long Island City in 2013 that includes the Academy for Careers in Television & Film.

The SCA is currently building a 969 seat high school building at 40-11 28th St. in Long Island City. The building will be the new home for the Academy of American Studies.

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Concerned lifelong Astorian

This area differently needs a HS because WC Bryant is the only one in that area But as pointed out this is a very dangerous spot on Northern. There are other properties in the area on 31 ave that it can be placed. I see that it has triple in size since first proposed. I know just like other HS this is going to be a campus school which is not the best for students. The truth is it does not matter how many little schools you want to try and sell to the public the building is still housing 4000 students. The worst thing about campus schools is each schools have to share the same gym library cafeteria school yard if lucky enough to have one Auditorium etc etc. This is a big problem because not every school has the same schedule and it has become a very big issue finding ways to share it for The best interest of all the students I totally agree with s prior post these new schools must include swimming pools. School yards with fields. There is only one school in this area with a pool. All us HS with swim teams have no place to practice. It is very important for all students to have physical activity in their daily life. Better to spend the money on things like swimming pools or state of the art technology than making it bigger. I hope the community watched this construction very closely because the HS that was mentioned on 41 ave is being built on contaminated land. There was a 600 page report released stating the toxic chemicals found including asbestos that was found in the soil. It was supposed to be removed safely like you would if found in a house but they did not do that. The Dept of Evioment just tested the air at site and it is higher than legally allowed to be for toxic chemicals in the air that all of us and the elementary school students are breathing in. This Schools never should have been built on toxic ground. This was once a active school yard with handball courts and softball field. It was not like the land was not being used in safer way.

Curtis blow

why there again? blockbusting has been overdone. Why not the old LIC high school? why not some place else a lot safer .


I would be wary of that large of a high school in that area, I work nearby and Northern Boulevard can be very treacherous, that intersection is particularly bad. More congestion and even less parking may hurt businesses


The High School have to consider the railroad and traffic of safety and noise northern blvd and Broadway.

Community affected by JVB's decisions

I think it would be beneficial to have a new high school in this area. However, not at the capacity it’s currently voting on.
If LIC HS is anything to go by, it will not be a good addition to the area. How about 2 smaller Highschools on the same campus? Underground parking for teachers, a ramp for cyclists with bike parking spaces, a community pool/gym/center with track/field? Something with a little bit more forward thinking and how to better our neighborhood.
Advice to JVB, AOC, Giannaris : take a look inside the HS directory and see how many applications for smaller schools v’s larger schools last year compared to the year prior, before it’s voted on.
It would seem that the planning of an oversized ‘did this already’ school doesn’t seem to be beneficial to ANY community, and most students. However, it does seem like it is one of those projects that are close enough to JVB, AOC and Giannaris, but not close enough to their door step. Woodside it seems, continues to be the area of choice for putting the undesirable projects of Queens. After all, Jimmy wouldn’t want to see his property go down on value anytime soon by allowing a large HS in his neighborhood, but a small Middle school that could benefit his neighbors? But, of course!

Daniel L.

“The SCA plans to open three schools in the one building, according to Van Bramer. For instance, one might include a District 75 (special education) component.”

Someone needs remedial Reading Comprehension classes maybe.


Community- A middle school will not bring down property value? Are you kidding? look at 125 on 47th Street and 47th Avenue..Fights vandalism assaults and even car thefts. Now you’re just making things up.


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