Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Jackson Heights, NY – Today NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst), NYC School Construction Authority (NYC SCA) officials and educators broke ground for the construction of Q398, a new elementary school and Pre-K site in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Donning hardhats and with shovels in hand, Dromm, NYC SCA President & CEO Lorraine Grillo, District 30 Superintendent Philip Composto, Community Education Council District 30 Vice President Nuala O’Dougherty, and Ray Everett, principal design architect for Purcell Architects gathered in front of the old White Castle headquarters on 34th Avenue and 69th Street to celebrate and announce details of the $62 million project.  When completed, Q398 will help alleviate overcrowding in District 30, one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city.

The NYC SCA, working closely and quickly with Council Member Dromm, secured the old White Castle headquarters for use as a new elementary school.  The site was approved by Community Board #3 and the City Council in 2015.  Final acquisition took place following land use studies and bank closure on the property.

The beautiful five-story, 65,000-square-foot building will include a rooftop garden, ample space for arts education, a library, a science resource room and more.  The building was designed by Purcell Architects, who drew inspiration from Jackson Heights’ renowned architecture.  The anticipated opening date is September 2019 with 476 new seats.

“This new school is great news for our community,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst).  “District 30 is one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city.  Overcrowding in neighborhood schools will be alleviated once Q398 is constructed.  That means higher quality arts and physical education for our students.  I am proud of this accomplishment and will continue to fight school overcrowding tooth and nail.”

“This planned brand new state-of-the-art building continues the School Construction Authority’s work with local leaders to address overcrowding in District 30,” said Lorraine Grillo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City School Construction Authority. “We are thrilled to construct a beautiful and modern learning environment for PS 398’s future students to grow and thrive in, and look forward to bringing these 476 new seats to Jackson Heights.”

“Thank you to the Mayor, the Chancellor, all of our local elected officials and everyone involved in providing Community School District 30 with a new school building,” said Dr. Philip A. Composto, Superintendent, District 30.  “We also want to thank the School Construction Authority (SCA) who designs, constructs and creates state of the art buildings where we can build, shape and form the minds of our students.  This school will provide an enriching learning environment for our students.  Like all of our  other District 30 schools, having this new building will support the creativity of teachers and staff as they design innovative and personalized learning experiences for each student.  I am very excited about this endeavor and I thank you all again for making this possible.”

Dromm has done much to reduce school overcrowding in Queens.  Since being elected, he has secured 300 additional seats at PS 13 in Elmhurst, converted the old Blessed Sacrament School into a public school and opened IS 297 creating 400 new middle school seats.

Q398 Stats:


4 Pre-Kindergarten;
3 Kindergarten;
15 Grades 1-5;
2 District Special Education Classrooms;
1 Reading Resource Room; and
1 Speech Resource Room.

Specialty Rooms:

1 Art Classroom;
1 Music Classroom;
1 Science Resource Room;
1 Gymatorium;
1 Library;
1 Guidance/ School Based Support Team Suite;
1 Medical Suite;
1 Administration Suite;
1 Teachers’ and Aides Work Room;
1 Parent Room;
1 Cafeteria;
1 Staff Lunch/ Conference Room; and
1 Kitchen Complex.

The new school will also include an early childhood playground and a playground for the older students.

PHOTO CAPTION – left to right: NYC SCA Senior Director of Architecture and Engineering Elan Abneri, State Senator Jose Peralta’s Deputy Chief of Staff Damaris Moné, Assembly Member Michael DenDekker’s Chief of Staff Maureen Allen, NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, District 30 Superintendent Philip Composta, NYC SCA President & CEO Lorraine Grillo, NYC SCA Vice President of Construction Management Gordon Tung, and NYC SCA Queens Chief Project Officer Joseph Scalisi break ground at the Q398 school construction site in Jackson Heights, Queens.




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