QUEENS — Crumbling trailers used as classrooms will be removed from four Queens schools by the end of this year, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said in her first State of the Borough address Thursday.
The trailers were meant to be a short-term solution to address overcrowding at public schools, but more than a decade after they were placed around the city, thousands of students still use them.
“We need to get our kids, once and for all, out of these trailers that we call classrooms,” Katz said in her speech, held at Queens College. “Our kids deserve better and we should demand it.”
Katz said that she is working with the School Construction Authority to solve the problem.
“We’re doing this by identifying underutilized spaces and converting them into instructional areas,” she said.
Katz also mentioned the Jamaica Planning Initiative she launched with City Hall last year.
"We’ve undergone a community-wide planning process over the course of two public conferences and 30 meetings in the past nine months," she said.
Calling Jamaica "one of the last affordable commercial hubs that offer housing, amenities and transportation,” Katz said city officials are working with community members on a plan to revitalize the neighborhood.
She also proposed creating a new zoning plan to protect neighborhoods that feature primarily single-family row houses, including Maspeth and Ridgewood.
“This will help preserve places that so many families have called their home in a more predictable way,” she said.
Katz, who has two young sons, also said that her motto is “if it’s good for our families, it’s good for Queens.”