The Port Authority board of…
By Philip Newman
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has authorized $13.7 million to soundproof 14 Queens schools located near the roar of jetliners taking off and landing at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.
The Port Authority board of commissioners approved $30 million for soundproofing of the Queens schools along with 12 schools in New Jersey, five in the Bronx and one in Nassau County.
“It is extremely important that children who attend schools around our New York airports be provided with an environment that is conducive to good learning,” said Gov. George Pataki. “This soundproofing program will help ensure that these children are not distracted from their studies by sounds from nosy aircraft.”
Port Authority Chairman Lewis Eisenberg said the money set aside is part of the agency’s commitment begun in 1983 to soundproof schools near the airports. He said the board has so far committed a total of $150 million to soundproofing more than 75 schools in New York and New Jersey.
“We want to be good neighbors with the communities that surround our airports,” said Port Authority Aviation director William DeCota. “This funding will ensure that schoolchildren have the proper atmosphere needed to learn.”
DeCota said the soundproofing had cut noise levels in half at facilities near other airports and would also reduce energy costs to schools through installation of new ventilation systems and acoustical windows.
The soundproofing program is a joint effort of the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, which contributes up to 80 percent of the funding under the federal Airport Improvement Program. Each school meets eligibility criteria set by the FAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Queens schools to be soundproofed and the cost of each: College of Aeronautics, Jackson Heights, $500,000; Lexington School for the Deaf, Jackson Heights, $800,000; Beach Channel High School, Rockaway Park, $900,000; Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaway, $200,000; IS 180, Rockaway Park $500,000;
IS 198, Arverne, $1 million; John Bowne High School, Flushing, $500,000; Lawrence No. 2 School, Far Rockaway, $1.5 million; P.S. 146, Howard Beach, $3.2 million; P.S. 195, Rosedale, $2.5 million; St. Pius X School, Rosedale, $600,000; Tapeinu School, Far Rockaway, $500,000; Msgr. McClancy High School, Elmhurst, $1 million and St. Michael School, Flushing, $1 million.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.