By RICH CALDER
Students at a public elementary school in Coney Island will no longer have to eat lunch and play ball in the same space.
The city broke ground today on a gymnasium to serve the 600 students at Michael E. Berdy Public School 188 on Neptune Avenue. Since the 85-year-old school has never had a gym, its cafeteria has been used for the dual purpose.
The $10.3 million, 7,000-square-foot gym will feature a full-length basketball court and male and female locker rooms and is expected to be done by October 2011.
"Our school has always struggled to offer physical education to our students," said PS 188 Principal Frederick Tudda. "Our custodian team picks up and puts down tables several times a day, and our physical education teacher has to be very selective about what activities can be conducted in the cafeteria. We’re very excited that our students will finally be able to eat in a cafeteria and play in a gym."
The benefits of the new gym will extend beyond the school. It will also be available for use by the community during non-school hours to help fill a dire need for recreational space in the neighborhood Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. helped push to get the project fully funded as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s ongoing plan to revive Coney Island...
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