Dec. 4, 2018 By Laura Hanrahan
A shared Williamsburg school building housing an elementary and middle school will be getting a brand new gymnasium, an effort that follows a recently-announced citywide initiative to bolster physical education in schools.
P.S. 17 and Conselyea Preparatory School, both located at 208 N 5th St., will see a one-story gymnasium with office and storage space constructed on the property, likely at the site of the existing playground.
The new building will total 4,621 square feet, according to plans filed with the Department of Buildings on Dec. 3.
P.S. 17, serves 299 students from pre-K through fifth grade, according to the school’s Department of Education profile.
Conselyea Preparatory, meanwhile, seats 488 students in grades six through eight.
The schools currently have a large shared outdoor playground with a running track and basketball court, but no dedicated gymnasium, according to records. The last building assessment completed earlier this year, meanwhile, showed that the playground is in need of repair.
The new plan comes more than a year after de Blasio’s announcement of the Universal Physical Education Initiative, which calls for all schools across the city to have a designated physical education space by 2021.
The program has allocated $385 million of capital funding to construct physical education space for about 200 public schools that do not currently have a gymnasium, like P.S. 17 and Conselyea Preparatory.
“School is not just an opportunity to prepare students for a lifetime of academic success, it is also the best time to provide our young people with a robust physical education,” Council Member Stephen Levin said at the time of the initiative’s announcement. “This is only possible if our schools have the appropriate space and resources to conduct the robust physical education programming our students deserve. I applaud the administration’s commitment to the current and future health of our students.”
The gym is expected to cost more than $4 million, according to the School Construction Authority, which filed the plans for the new building.
The agency did not immediately respond to questions about the new gymnasium and its construction timeline.