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Local News March 7, 2013  RSS feed

Making Way For New School

City To Demolish Ridgewood Site
by Robert Pozarycki

Demolition of the former St. Aloysius School in Ridgewood will soon start to clear the way for the construction of a new public elementary school expected to open in September 2015, the Times Newsweekly has learned.

The School Construction Authority (SCA) notified Community Board 5 last Tuesday, Feb. 26, that it would begin the process of deconstructing the defunct Catholic school on Seneca Avenue between DeKalb Avenue and Stockholm Street in mid- March with asbestos abatement.

It is anticipated that the building will be made asbestos-free by April, and the physical demolition of the school would commence around May, according to the SCA notice provided to this newspaper.

Activities at the St. Aloysius site will take place generally on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on holidays and weekends as deemed necessary.

The SCA expects the site to be clear by July, and thereafter, preparations will begin for the construction of a new elementary school known as P.S. 320.

According to information on the SCA’s website, the new school will house 472 seats for children from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The four-story school, to be erected along Seneca Avenue, will also include a new 12,000 sq. ft. outdoor playground near Stockholm Street and a smaller play area for younger children located near DeKalb Avenue.

The St. Aloysius site is located across the street from P.S. 305, which is an early childhood school educating children from pre-kindergarten through third grade. As previously reported in the Times Newsweekly, parents at an April 2012 hearing had called on the Department of Education to build on the site an annex to P.S. 305 rather than entirely new school.

Under current school zoning, children at P.S. 305 who complete the third grade are assigned upon promotion to the overcrowded P.S. 81, which educates children from kindergarten through fifth grade.

St. Aloysius School, which opened in 1966, closed in 2009 when it merged with Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal School to form the Notre Dame Catholic Academy of Ridgewood.