Project File: All under one roof

Dec. 1, 2001
High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety/Police Athletic League Community Center, Queens, N.Y.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place for the $80 million High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety/Police Athletic League Community Center in the South Jamaica section of Queens. It follows a recent trend in New York City of high schools being built with a theme in an effort to expose students to potential career options early.

This high school was put on a fast track when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani accelerated funding for 12 new schools and additions in the five-year capital plan in his “State of the City” speech in January 2001. The announcement means the school will open a year ahead of schedule.

The project is a unique partnership between the New York School Construction Authority (SCA), the New York City Board of Education and the Police Athletic League. An 897-seat high school and community center will be housed for the first time in the same building. The six-story facility will cover about 198,000 square feet and will include two gymnasiums, a forensics lab, an EMS training facility, a courtroom, and a 5,000-square-foot play area on the roof that will include a quarter-mile track.

The forensic science lab is geared to teaching students about pursuing a career in law enforcement. New York SCA will install high-tech equipment, almost identical to what the FBI uses. Students will be able to see how the fuming chamber exposes fingerprints on any object after extracting the air out of the chamber. The prep station will be used to reveal fingerprints on objects that are dusted with powder. The gas chromatograph will analyze a substance and provide students with a breakdown of its chemical properties.

The design firm for the project is Polshek Partnership Architects, LLP (New York City). General contractor for the project is J.A. Jones Construction Group, LLC (New York City). The project is scheduled for completion in 2003.

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