Work at a New York schoolyard to reduce storm water runoff has halted.
Work in Prospect Heights, New York to reduce storm water runoff has begun in the main schoolyard at PS9 Sarah Smith Garnet School.
This comes just weeks ahead of the scheduled start of the school year.
The project impacts an effort to make outdoor learning possible for approximately 600 students whose families had chosen a mix of in-person and remote learning. The construction site would render a large chunk of the school’s outdoor space inaccessible, reported Bklyner.
The estimated completion date for the project was Sept. 27th, but was pushed back to Oct. 28th.
The last week of September, when students returned for the first time since March, Principal Fatimah Ali broke the news that the Department of Education’s Division of School Facilities had placed the project on hold until further notice.
The decision to halt work on the project came from Mayor Bill de Blasio due to funding constraints.
The project left a gaping hole and a mound of debris in the schoolyard, enclosed by a chain-link fence. Some parents see this as a safety risk, reported Bklyner.
Since then, a Change.org petition has circulated, demanding that “Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza re-authorize the continuation of this construction project and see it completed in an expedited manner.”
According to Principal Ali, the project was designed to reduce the volume of storm water runoff entering the sewers and help meet water quality goals mandated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The project was delayed in the spring when the schools shut down due to COVID-19 and had been delayed prior to that. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is a partner on the project.