By kelsey durham
Three lawmakers have announced that more than $4.9 million in federal funding has been allocated to help complete repairs to Beach Channel High School and to clean up Jamaica Bay more than a year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Rockaways.
U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, along with state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) announced that $4,902,607.21, granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will go to the New York City School Construction Authority to reimburse and continue to pay for damages the school suffered during the October 2012 storm. The high school did not reopen until Jan. 2, 2013 and the school’s boiler tanks burst during the storm, leaking oil into nearby Jamaica Bay.
The money will be used to clean up the bay as well as allow for the installation of emergency protection services, such as a temporary power generator, temporary boiler and fuel oil tank and fire safety systems.
“These federal funds will be a tremendous help to Beach Channel High School, and the entire Rockaway Park community, in their ongoing efforts to put the pieces back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” Schumer said. “This grant goes a long way towards helping defray the costs of repairs and will enable the school to get back to educating our youth.”
Goldfeder commended the work by Schumer and Gillibrand to secure the funds and said he will continue to work with state and federal officials until recovery is complete. Ongoing repairs at the high school are about 80 percent complete so far, according to FEMA, and the money provided by the grant will reimburse about 90 percent of the costs that were paid for by the SCA.
“This new funding will go a long way in helping Beach Channel High School move forward with their recovery and ensure our children continue to receive the quality education they deserve,” Goldfeder said.