Middle Village students will soon have more room to expand their minds.
Construction is underway on an extension at P.S./I.S 87 in Middle Village that will add a gym, music room and classrooms, among other amenities, to the school.
In 2002, the school — located at 67-54 80th Street — expanded to add grades six through eight, which meant the gym needed to be upgraded, said Nick Comaianni, president of Community Education Council 24.
Currently, the students are cramped into a lunchroom during gym, which parents and leaders have said for years needed an upgrade.
Then Chancellor Joel Klein was given a tour of the facilities in 2009 by Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley. Klein again visited the school in 2010 for a CEC24 meeting where Comaianni, students and parents displayed the need for a new gym.
After that visit, Klein emailed Comaianni, informing him he would instruct the School Construction Authority to approve an extension for the school.
The project was added to the budget and approved by the city council in July of 2010.
The $21 million expansion will include the new gym with bleachers, a boys’ and girls’ locker room, a music room with storage, a practice room, four new air conditioned classrooms, a boys’ and girls’ bathroom in the basement and on the first and second floors and an elevator, the DOE said. The existing building will also receive a new fire alarm system, a new air conditioner in the existing auditorium and a new early child playground.
“Parents deserve to send their child to a local school with small class sizes and the resources necessary to ensure a quality education,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley. “This new extension will help P.S./I.S. 87 meet these goals. Whether it’s working on their jump shots or learning the clarinet, students will finally have the proper facilities in smaller class sizes for a well-rounded education. I was proud to work with the Department of Education and the Middle Village community to get this project started.”
Because the school was originally intended for elementary students, many facilities were not suitable for middle schoolers, something this addition should change, Comaianni said.
“Now, it’s a real K to eight [institution],” he said
The construction, which began earlier this summer, is scheduled to be completed by the start of next school year, according to the Department of Education.