(Staten Island, NY) – Council Member Joseph C. Borelli (R-South Shore) has announced that his office has allocated $2.25 million in funding for Staten Island middle schools for this fiscal year. The funds will go toward a number of new projects and upgrades for all public middle schools in the Council Member’s district.
The enhancements will include electrical system upgrades in I.S. 75 and I.S. 7, which will allow the school buildings to accommodate climate control systems and newer technology; construction of a greenhouse for the horticulture program at IS 75. Funding has also been allocated to schools for technology upgrades, including smart boards and laptop carts.
“This year I chose to focus on middle schools because it’s the age that children are most vulnerable to making the poor choices that can lead them in the wrong direction in life, and it’s imperative that we allocate the appropriate resources to engage them. In addition to the capital funding, we’re also providing each middle school with an after school program ranging from Sundog Theatre program to the Intrepid’s Aerospace Engineering program. We need to do everything we can to show our middle school students that there are so many opportunities for them to grow,” saidBorelli.
“The I.S. 7 community is extremely grateful to Councilman Borelli for his generosity. I.S. 7 was built in 1964 and is in desperate need of an electrical upgrade to support much needed technology and air conditioning units. Councilman Borelli is providing funding so that the students of I.S. 7 can utilize classroom based technology in a comfortable environment. He truly cares about the children of the community he serves,” said Dr. Nora De Rosa, Principal of I.S. 7.
“Thanks to Councilman Joseph Borelli, we will be having a greenhouse built on the school grounds at Frank D. Paulo Intermediate School 75. Our after-school horticulture club will work year-round to grow plants and flowers that will eventually be used to beautify the school campus, both inside and out. Through the generosity of the Councilman, we are also receiving an electrical upgrade to the school that would enable us to put air conditioners in all classrooms. Mr. Borelli is also funding the resurfacing of our gymnasium floor, which will enable us to compete in the middle school basketball league and enhances our many afterschool programs,” said Principal Kenneth Zapata of IS 75.
These allocations are part of a funding package for schools that totals $3.55M. Some of the projects have to be phased in after the electrical upgrades have been completed. The additional funding includes $300,000 for technology upgrades at I.S. 7, and an additional $150,000 that has been earmarked for IS 75.
“On behalf of the students and staff at Totten Intermediate School 34, I would like to extend my thanks to Councilman Borelli for securing the necessary funding to create a state of the art STEM Lab at I.S.34. This STEM Lab will provide our students with hands on experience in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) allowing them to become the leaders of tomorrow. We at I.S. 34 believe that cross-curricula exposure to STEM education is the wave of the future. The lab will be the hub of innovation that will allow our students to create and develop projects utilizing computer coding, virtual reality and 3D imagery,” said John Boyle, Principal of I.S. 34.
“The support of Councilman Borelli to our school by way of Reso “A” funding will provide our teachers and students with advances in educational technology and equipment which will allow for new and dynamic models of teaching and learning to take place at our Intermediate School for all students. We are very grateful Joe’s support of our students,” said Leonard Santamaria, Principal of I.S. 24.
“The MAELS community would like to express our appreciation for the funding you provided us. The Council Member’s financial support helps us continue our mission and vision and assists our students with being active members of our community. The support of public figures, such as Council Member Borelli, help our students understand that the entire community cares and believes in them,” said Cara DeAngelo, Principal of Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School.
I.S. 63, Marsh Ave Expeditionary Learning School
$100,000 – Technology upgrade
$500,000 – Technology upgrade
$150,000 – Technology upgrade
$150,000 – Gym floor resurfacing
$215,000 – Electrical upgrade
$125,000 – Greenhouse
$150,000 – Technology upgrade
$350,000 – Classroom conversion to a dance studio
$200,000 – Electrical upgrade (to allow for air conditioning units and updated tech)
(Staten Island, NY) – Council Member Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) and Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo (R-Mid Island) are calling for a public hearing of the Council’s Health Committee to investigate the protocols that are currently in place with regard to water quality testing, and whether actions taken by the NYC Department of Education (DOE) inappropriately influenced the results of the testing.
In April of this year, in light of testing results showing elevated levels of lead exposure in Staten Island schools, Borelli and Matteo sent a letter to the Chancellor of the DOE inquiring about their protocol(s) relating to water quality testing in public schools, water quality testing transparency, and communication between the DOE, school administration and parents. The DOE has not responded to that inquiry.
This week, the New York Times published an article describing the technique used by the DOE to mislead independent water quality testers and influence the results of the tests to show artificially-lowered levels of lead and metals exposure that would fall within the acceptable ranges. According to the Times, every school that was tested turned on every water outlet in their respective buildings for two full hours to rid the pipes of the lead, metals, and sediment build-up that were present in time for the next day’s water-quality test. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically recommended against the practice, called “flushing.” The EPA clarified this position in a memorandum this February, in response to the lead exposure crisis in Flint, Michigan, which was allowed to fester because water quality testing was manipulated.
The Council Members are calling for a formal hearing of the Council’s Health Committee to investigate the policies the NYC DOE currently has in place, and potential manipulation of the water quality tests by NYC DOE. Further, Council Member Borelli intends to introduce legislation that will officially ban the manipulative practice of “flushing” to ensure that in the future, NYC DOE cannot compromise the testing results.
“That our constituents may be sending their children to school to be unknowingly subjected to heavy metal contaminants like lead in their drinking water is unconscionable. It is a fundamental expectation of parents that their children be provided with a safe environment at our public schools, and goes without saying that the water from which they drink should be clean and the integrity of the required testing should not be compromised for the sake of political expediency,” said Borelli. “From the moment we were made aware of the presence of elevated levels of lead in the drinking water at Staten Island’s public schools, Minority Leader Matteo and I have been committed to making sure the DOE has protocols in place to conduct accurate and transparent testing, in line with federal guidelines for safe drinking water, and without manipulation from DOE officials.”
“The recent article by the NY Times calls into question whether DOE’ tests of lead content in our schools’ water supply are reliable, as they seem to ignore the harsh lessons learned from the Flint water crisis,” said Matteo. “Councilman Borelli and I have asked for a Council oversight hearing so DOE can clearly communicate its lead testing protocols and methodology, and hopefully provide the public with some answers and peace of mind.”
“We promised them a sidewalk and we’re going to deliver it.”
The sidewalk will cost about $70,000, the Department of Design and Construction said.
The DDC expects construction to take about three weeks.
Currently there’s only a gravel path full of weeds and litter along the stretch of Veterans Road West. Residents of The Tides, a nearby senior community, fought for about five years to get the city to put a sidewalk in.
“We’re seniors, we don’t want to have to go on cobbles when we want something to eat,” said Margaret Campanile, who lives in The Tides.
“Now that we have Shoprite we don’t have to drive there, we can walk there if we only want a few things.”
“Not only will this be safer, it will also be much more eye pleasing,” Borelli said. “Once we have a nice curbline, a nice sidewalk, it will be easier [to clean].”
Only one side of Veteran Road West will get new sidewalks as part of the city’s project. The other side will get them when renovations to the Animal Care and Control headquarters on the street are finished, Cocola said.
Cocola said the DOT will also repave Arthur Kill Road from Kreischer Street to the dead end, and do wear and tear improvements on Veteran Roads West in the fall.
Aside from the new Charleston sidewalks, Borelli said the city plans on installing several others around the South Shore of Staten Island this year.
Borelli will be hosting a canoeing and wilderness education event for Island children in conjunction with the New York City Urban Park Rangers. The event, which spans several hours, will be held at Willowbrook Park, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, August 22.
Urban Park Rangers will be on site to instruct participants on… [CLICK FOR MORE]
(Staten Island, NY) – Council Member Joseph C. Borelli (R-South Shore) has announced that his office has allocated $2.25 million in funding for Staten Island middle schools for this fiscal year. The funds will go toward a number of new projects and upgrades for all public middle schools in the Council Member’s district. The […]
(Staten Island, NY) – Council Member Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) and Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo (R-Mid Island) are calling for a public hearing of the Council’s Health Committee to investigate the protocols that are currently in place with regard to water quality testing, and whether actions taken by the NYC Department of Education (DOE) […]
By Nicholas Rizzi | August 19, 2016 2:22pm @nickr15 TwitterFacebookEmailMore The city will install a new sidewalk on Veterans Road West, from Arthur Kill Road to the new Shoprite, after years of requests from nearby residents.View Full Caption DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi CHARLESTON — An industrial stretch of a Staten Island road will get new sidewalks after years […]