A Bayside school has secured the funding needed to give its auditorium a much-needed renovation.
Councilman Paul Vallone has announced a $245,000 funding commitment to P.S. 31 to facilitate a full auditorium overhaul.
“The kids [at P.S. 31] are great. They’re very involved — so it’s always exciting to be able to share such good news,” Vallone said. “And it’s exciting to get kids back involved in local government and give the principals some good news, too.”
The councilman recently joined students, parents and teachers at the school for their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) challenge, where children at all grade levels performed experiments and engaged in model-building exercises.
Vallone hopes the auditorium renovation will continue to foster the school’s rich tradition of educational and extracurricular programming, like STEM, in the future.
“Every council member has to prioritize how they’re going to use money, and we’ve focused on children and education since day one,” Vallone said. “The heart of the school is the auditorium. So if you can start one by one, you can see the impact it has on the kids.”
According to school principal Terri Graybow, the auditorium has only seen minor renovations since the structure was built in 1939.
“Right now there are so many broken seats, and [the auditorium] is really the hub of the school,” Graybow said. “It’s where parents come to watch their students perform; it’s where our entire student body comes together; it’s where we do our graduations.”
Grateful to receive news about the funding, Graybow explained she plans to replace all of the chairs and flooring in the space. She also hopes to replace the flooring on the stage, which is currently tile, making it difficult for students putting on dance or drama performances to compete with the noise it produces.
“We’re a school that focuses on a lot of different activities, and we’re so looking forward to having a brand-new auditorium to house all of those many activities,” Graybow said.
The renovation will begin pending an upcoming meeting with the School Construction Authority (SCA), a city agency that designs, constructs and modernizes schools throughout New York City.
P.S. 31 is located at 211-45 46th Rd. in Bayside.