City Plans to Fast-Track School Repairs with Emergency Funds

November 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

Chancellor Walcott talks to parents at P.S. 207, which will remain closed until at least 2013 and could be much longer. Red trailers parked outside the school contain 35,000 gallons of water and oil that leaked into the school during Sandy, Walcott said. Photo courtesy of Gotham Schools.

Six city schools that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy won’t reopen until 2013, according to the Department of Education’s latest update on its recovery from the storm.

But the rest of the schools displaced by the storm, which on Tuesday will number 37, will likely be able to move back to their buildings by the end of November.

To keep pace with the timeline, Mayor Bloomberg today announced an emergency plan to add $500 million in capital funds, $200 million of which will go directly toward paying for repairs at the remaining schools. The other $300 million will help repair damages sustained to hospital buildings. Bloomberg made the announcement at P.S. 207, a school in Queens that was damaged so severely that officials aren’t able to pinpoint a reopening date.

“To our knowledge, New York City government has never before made such an emergency provision for additional capital spending because of a natural disaster and certainly not one of this size,” he said.

The budget modification is expected to be approved by the City Council today.
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