Parents Urged to Sound Off On School Conditions

By Charles Hack

Parents concerned over whether the Department of Education (DOE) is making the necessary upgrades to safety equipment at their school, or think it’s time the auditorium had a makeover, might do well to attend the January Community Education Council District15 meeting. That’s because CEC 15 plans to discuss the district’s school capital plan on January 19 at M.S. 447 at 345 Dean Street. A representative from the NYC School Construction Authority will help answer questions from teachers and parents. “Hopefully, people will come and talk about what their schools need,” said Mary-Powel Thomas, president of the Community Education Council District 15, at their working meeting at 131 Livingston Street on Jan. 5. Thomas says that CEC 15 members want to know whether the capital plan is prioritizing work correctly. If the New York City Department of Education sticks to their 2005-09 capital plan, several schools will receive millions of dollars for much-needed upgrades to their aging buildings this year. According to the plan, J.H.S. 293 at 284 Baltic Street will have the most money spent on capital projects. Some $10 million has been allocated for upgrading science labs, the auditorium, climate controls, and the public address and alarm systems. Light fixtures will be replaced in 2007. The plan shows that P.S. 27, at 27 Huntington St., will have the second-highest expenditure for the year, with $4.4 million being spent on upgrading the school’s electrical and heating systems, and replacing the roof. I.S. 51, at 350 5th Avenue, can expect $3.8 million of capital work for improving lighting and security, climate control and electrical systems, and fire and public announcement systems. P.S. 130, at 70 Ocean Parkway, has had $4 million allocated for work over the next two years, including replacing the roof, and fixing toilets, public address and security systems in 2006, and upgrading the auditorium in 2007. P.S. 321, at 180 Seventh Ave., has been allocated $3.6 million for work to the lighting, security, masonry and toilets in 2006 I.S. 230 at 1 Albemarle Road will get $3.1 million for upgrades to the lighting, security and auditorium. Two and a half million dollars has been allocated to P.S. 1, at 309 47th St., for work that includes upgrading the auditorium and the playground. P.S. 15, at 71 Sullivan St., has $2.7 million allocated for fixing lighting, exterior security, pumps, masonry, sidewalks and paved areas. P.S. 88, at 544 7th Ave., will have $2.6 million of maintenance and upgrade work done to its toilets, pumps, fire alarms, and public address systems. And P.S. 169, at 4305 7th Ave., will receive $2.3 million to upgrade the public address system, fire alarm systems, and plumbing. The plans show that three public schools can expect to receive between $1 and $2 million worth of capital works during the coming year. These include: P.S. 32 at 317 Hoyt St. with $1 million for playground redevelopment; P.S. 330 with $1.1 million for lighting, and upgrades to the auditorium, gymnasium and flooring; and the P.S. 1 mini-school with $1.3 million for fire alarm and flooring replacement. Another four schools have had less than $1 million allocated for works during 2006. These include $530,000 for retaining walls at P.S. 124 at 515 4th Ave.; $350,000 for fixing toilets, classrooms and the basement at P.S. 142; $225,000 for unspecified emergency work at P.S. 10 at 7th Ave.; and $130,000 for structural work at P.S. 29 at 425 Henry St.

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