The Queens Gazette wrote an article drawing attention to a School Construction Authority (SCA) budget ammendment proposal, which reduces construction funding for schools in desperate need of assistance. Senator Michael Gianaris, along with parents and other elected officials, urges the SCA to include these schools back in the capital plan in order to ensure that the needs of the children are satisfied.
While supporting needs throughout District 30, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and state Senator Michael Gianaris spoke in support of two especially beleaguered schools: P.S. 2, Jackson Heights and P.S. 11, Long Island City.
A large contingent of parents, students and staff from both schools were present at the December 15 meeting of Community District Education Council 30 held at P.S. 212 in Jackson Heights as representatives from the School Construction Authority (SCA) presented proposals of an amended five-year $11.1 billion capital plan. The budget restores $1.75 billion cut in January and is close to the originally proposed $11.3 billion in funding. But the November amendment reduced funding for some new school construction in favor of replacement and upkeep of existing infrastructure.
At P.S. 2, the Alfred Zimberg School, located at 75-10 21st Ave., SCA funding for “extraordinarily necessary and significant capital improvements” is needed, according to a letter by Gianaris to District 30 Superintendent Dr. Philip Composto, also read by a representative.
A “temporary” modular unit has been in use at P.S. 2 for 15 years. “P.S. 2 is functioning well over the capacity it was originally designed to accommodate”, leading to unsafe conditions, Gianaris said in his letter. “Astoundingly, P.S. 2 has no auditorium.” A gym serves that purpose as well as its designed function. A ‘temporary’ modular unit is in use at P.S. 11, too. “We have mold, leaks and rotted flooring,” a speaker said. The school now has more than 1,300 children in classes that have been halved to accommodate them. “We desperately need room,” the P.S. 11 UFT chapter leader said.
“P.S. 11 is at 120 percent capacity, way over where they need to be,” Van Bramer said. “We need an answer for P.S. 11.”
Gianaris asked that the continued efforts of parents and students at P.S. 2 to provide their children the highest level of enrichment be recognized with support from the SCA “to ensure that the safety of our children remains a top priority”
Read the full article here.