City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) yesterday joined Principal Renee Klager and representatives from the School Construction Authority for a walk through of M.S. 379Q, the new junior high school in College Point set to open next week.
At long last, students residing in and around the College Point neighborhood of Queens will finally have a middle school option. College Point residents have pushed for a middle school in their district for years because students have been forced to travel outside their neighborhood to attend junior high school. Historically, College Point middle schoolers have had to travel to either PS 185 in Flushing or PS 194 in Whitestone as their nearest options.
“To stand at the doors of College Point’s brand new middle school on the eve of its inaugural year is to realize a long-awaited dream for the community,” said Vallone. “College Point Collaborative is truly a team effort that has included the parents and families of College Point from day one.”
The 507-seat school, designed and constructed by the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) at the site of the former St. Fidelis School, will officially open next Wednesday with a new incoming class of 6th graders. The school’s name, College Point Collaborative, was selected by students in local elementary schools, P.S. 29 and P.S. 129.
The air conditioned and fully accessible three-story building provides nineteen classrooms and two district special education classrooms, as well as a reading resource room, art classroom, science lab, music suite, library and gymnasium with locker rooms.
The school has worked closely with Vallone to connect with local community organizations to shape the school’s marine biology vision for its students. The Coastal Preservation Network will be working with the school’s science department, allowing students to take at least two trips to the nearby waterfront to work with Dr. James Cervino to observe oysters and plant seagrass. The school is also exploring work with the Billion Oyster Project to study oyster life and survival. Council Member Vallone has also helped the school build a relationship with the New York Harbor School on Governor’s Island to help provide expanded marine biology opportunities for the students of College Point.
In preparation for the start of the school year, Vallone also worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to secure a school slow zone around the building for the safety of students, parents and teachers.
“Principal Klager’s vision and determination is clearly seen in the beauty and uniqueness of every room in the school. We’ve also partnered with the New York Harbor School and the Coastal Preservation Network to provide further marine biology resources, environmental awareness and opportunities for students moving forward,” said Vallone.
“I’m very excited about opening the very first public middle school in College Point,” said Klager. “I cannot wait to welcome students and the community to the school and look forward to working collaboratively with students and the community to build a student centered learning environment.”
At 7:30 a.m., Sept. 7 the school will host a “Coffee and Conversation” event where parents and school community members are invited to meet Principal Klager and view the school. A formal ribbon cutting is scheduled 3:30 p.m., Sept. 20.