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180-Seat Pre-K Center to Open in Court Square Next Year, Officials Say

 School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, parents and local residents at the announcement of a new pre-k program in Court Square.
School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, parents and local residents at the announcement of a new pre-k program in Court Square.
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Jimmy Van Bramer's Office

COURT SQUARE — The city will open nearly 200 new universal pre-k seats in Long Island City next fall, officials said — the latest in a string of recent efforts to expand school space in the neighborhood, where demand for kindergarten and pre-k slots is high.

The new program will be housed on the first two floors of an office building at 27-35 Jackson Ave., situated between Queens Plaza and Court Square, and will be able fit 180 students, officials announced Wednesday.

Local parents and elected officials have been pushing to get more school space in the area, where they say residential growth has outpaced the number of available classroom seats.

"Long Island City is growing rapidly, and our neighborhood's children need a place to learn," City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement. "We fought long and hard for these desperately needed classes."

The Department of Education already added several extra classes to existing pre-k programs in nearby Hunters Point this summer — including 36 new seats housed in trailer classrooms — to accommodate dozens of kids initially waitlisted there.

Long Island City is also slated to see three new schools built in the coming years, including one planned for the city's Hunters Point South Development.

The Court Square pre-k program will open to students in September 2017, officials said.