New school in Norwood moving ahead

It still may be a while off before children are pouring in and out of P.S. 177 on Webster Avenue, but the city is steadily moving along with the construction of the facility.

The design phase of the project has been completed and the city recently awarded the construction contract to Arnell Construction Group, of Brooklyn. The building should be ready for students by the start of the school year in 2014.

“The board is excited that the school is coming in,” said Community Board 7 district manager Fernando Tirado. “We’re hoping the school relieves some of the overcrowding in schools here.”

The school will be built at 3177 Webster Avenue, which was formerly a parking lot. Currently the land is vacant, but heavy machinery has been on site doing some of the preliminary foundation work for the building. Survey work should begin officially in December, city officials said.

The school should be a bustling elementary and middle school that will have seats for about 640 students.

The DOE is planning to have either three or four classes for kindergarten through fifth-grade, and only one or two classes for the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

The disproportionate number of students in the grades should help the school alleviate some of the overcrowding in the district.

According to Tirado, except for an annex off P.S. 94, this will be the only school construction to take place in the area in decades.

He said he hopes students will be able to move into the new facility from P.S. 56, which is one of the most severely overcrowded schools in the borough. According to Tirado, it is running at more than 200 percent capacity, and often classes need to be held in the halls.

“Norwood in particular is very overcrowded,” he said. “Our residents know this will be a good thing; that it will be a great asset for the neighborhood.”

Community and board members that toured Webster Avenue last month as part of a rezoning project, said they were excited to see construction crews on the property, adding that a new school is exactly the type of development they would like to see in the area.

“We are happy to have a school coming in,” board member Ozzie Davis said. “We have the largest number of kids in our school board area.”

The community board plans to begin reaching out to the community soon about the new school. The project will require the closure of a parking lane during construction period.

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