UPPER WEST SIDE — The Department of Education plans to spend more than $40 million on updates to local schools over the next two years, including green roofs and soundproof music rehearsal spaces, officials said.
Officials from the DOE's School Construction Authority said they will spend $36.23 million between 2015 and 2017 on projects in District 3, which spans from West 59th Street to West 122nd Street.
In many cases the work is required, like updating light fixtures that containtoxic chemicals called PCBs, which will cost $4.65 million. Some of the projects are necessary for building safety, including fixing parapets and roofs, SCA rep Michael Mirasola said.
Additionally, local City Councilmembers Helen Rosenthal, Mark Levine andInez Dickens have set aside $3.76 million for the SCA to use on projects ranging from buying soundproof music-rehearsal pods to boosting schools' technology offerings and upgrading auditoriums. The allocations are based on the school's top requests for funding.
You can find all the District 3 projects funded by city councilmembers on this map:
Green Roofs: $140,000
Having a school garden that teachers can use as an extension of the classroom is very popular in District 3. Three schools — P.S. 199, M.S. 84 and M.S. 245 — requested and are receiving funding to create rooftop gardens. At the Urban Assembly for Green Careers, funding will go toward creating a living plant wall inside the school.
Science and Technology: $1.04 million
Funding is going toward installing SMART boards in every classroom at P.S. 166, a computer upgrade in every classroom for P.S. 75, supplying 78 Macbook Pro laptops at P.S. 149, and installing an interactive SMART board station that can be moved around P.S. 191.
At P.S. 256, the computer lab is getting revamped, as is the lab at P.S. 165. The Young Diplomats Magnet Academy is adding a computer lab to its library, and Mott Hall II is receiving funding to transform a classroom into a science lab.
Auditoriums: $1.02 million
The auditorium work at P.S. 333 will cost $670,000 and includes a sound system upgrade, improving accessibility to the main stage, and making the balcony safe to use. P.S. 163, the Columbia School for Math, Science and Engineering, and P.S. 54 are also getting auditorium upgrades.
Sound Systems: $120,000
The sound system at P.S. 258 is getting overhauled and the Special Music School will receive soundproof pods so that more musicians can practice at the same time.
Councilwoman Rosenthal has contributed to an ongoing project to upgrade the library at the MLK Campus, which hosts six small high schools.
Gym, Dance and Theater: $425,000
P.S. 9 and M.S. 243, which share a building, are having their gym upgraded. M.S. 811 is receiving funding to add a curtain controlled by a power switch that can divide the gym.
P.S. 452's dance room is getting enhanced, and LaGuardia High School will receive funding for its technical theater shop.
Feasibility Studies: $350,000
The SCA will do feasibility studies at LaGuardia High School and M.S. 258 to see whether additions are possible.