Aug. 8, 2016 By Michael Florio
A new middle school is set to open in Corona next month that city officials argue will help combat school overcrowding in the district.
I.S. 311, located at 98-11 44th Avenue, will open Sept. 8 and will cater to 785 students in grades six through eight.
However, in the first year, it will serve 511 students, with that number reaching capacity in the 2018-2019 school year, a DOE spokesman said.
“The opening of the school will help to alleviate the severe school overcrowding we have been facing in the district for decades,” State Sen. Jose Peralta, who toured the school in July, said.
However, the DOE still sees a need for approximately 9,400 elementary and middle school seats in District 24, which covers Corona, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood and Glendale.
More seats are on the way, as there is funding for the construction of 4,864 seats in this district. Currently, 2,892 are in the design or construction phases, all of which are elementary and middle schools, according to the DOE spokesman.
Peralta said that he is relieved that the school opening.
“Alongside the community, I fought hard to make sure IS 311 became a reality,” he said. “It was an uphill battle, but it was a battle our kids won, so I am glad we can close this chapter.”
Nevertheless, there is a need for more seats, according to Councilman Daniel Dromm.
“Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and I are constantly looking for space for new schools,” Dromm said. “We have identified some other sites and suggested them to the SCA.”
“While I can’t say where, they are non-traditional sites,” he added.