August Martin High School’s deteriorating track and field is set to undergo a major overhaul as well as the facilities that have devolved into a state of disrepair.
Councilwoman Adrienne Adams was joined by school leaders, scholar athletes and alumni of August Martin on Friday, July 23, to celebrate the securing of $11.2 million in the New York City budget to reconstruct the school’s track and field.
The athletic field and field house were widely used by local sports teams, residents and students for decades, including notable athletes and Olympians from southeast Queens like Dalilah Muhammad and Natasha Hastings.
“I am overjoyed to have secured the necessary funding to completely transform the track and field at August Martin High School back into a place of pride for our community. I have fought for this long-awaited project for years, and I cannot wait to see our vision of a state-of-the-art athletic field come to fruition,” Adams said. “Our students, families and local athletes deserve a facility worthy of their greatness. Along with track renovation projects at Baisley Pond Park and York College, we will witness an overhaul of three major athletic fields in southeast Queens, which will make a tremendous difference for everyone who calls this community home.”
Since being elected to the New York City Council nearly four years ago, Adams has advocated for funding to overhaul the track and field at August Martin High School. As a member of the City Council’s Budget Negotiating Team, Adams secured $11.2 million over two fiscal years to fund the reconstruction.
The allocation will be part of an overall $20 million project to redo not just the track and field, but also the field house. Both facilities will be rebuilt at the same time.
In addition to the overhaul of the track and field at August Martin High School, the track at nearby Baisley Pond Park will also be renovated and converted into a synthetic turf field. The Parks Department will also add an adult fitness area inside the park. Additionally, the track and field at York College will undergo a $2 million renovation project.
Cynthia Schneider, superintendent of Queens South High Schools, thanked Adams on behalf of Executive Superintendent Mauriciere de Govia for her allocation of $11.2 million dollars for the renovation of August Martin High School’s athletic field and facilities.
“This project will benefit all the students of the August Martin campus and the entire community,” Schneider said. “We also recognize August Martin Principal Rory Parnell for her extraordinary efforts in making AMHS a school of choice, with over a 95 percent graduation rate.”
On behalf of August Martin High School, Parnell also thanked Adams for advocating for the funding to support the restoration of the football field and field house.
“As we celebrate the 99.7 percent graduation rate achieved from our scholars who live, learn and thrive here in South Jamaica, Queens, we’re honored to receive such an amazing investment in our future,” Parnell said.
Lorraine Gittens-Bridges of the August Martin High School Alumni Association said, “In a few years, the next generation of families and students will have an opportunity to make their dreams come true to compete in the Olympics like Dalilah Muhammad.”