Funding shows continued commitment to supporting high-quality education

(November 1, 2022 at 12pm)

QUEENS, NY – In an illustration of his continued commitment to providing the highest-quality education possible for Queens students, Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today announced his allocation of nearly $11 million in capital funding for borough schools in Fiscal Year 2023.

“Recent learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to intensify efforts to improve the quality of the education we are offering our precious children,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “Those efforts must begin with improving our school buildings and their surrounding campuses, so that all of our kids have quality spaces where they can learn, grow, and thrive. The nearly $11 million in capital funding I have allocated to Queens schools this year will do just that.”

The announcement was made at The Chester Park Magnet School for Computer Science and Innovation (P.S. 62) in Richmond Hill, which received $175,000 in FY23 capital funding from Borough President Richards. This money will go toward the construction of a new hydroponics lab that the school will use to expand its existing hydroponics program, enhance its groundbreaking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum, and combat food insecurity in the surrounding community.

The P.S. 62 allocation helps fulfill a commitment the Borough President made in his 2022 State of the Borough address, when he pledged to fund additional school hydroponics labs. These labs allow plants to be grown without soil and help students learn valuable lessons about bioscience and agriculture, while enabling them to grow produce they can donate to people in need.

“My $175,000 allocation will enable the construction of a full-scale hydroponics lab that will allow P.S. 62 to better incorporate hydroponics into its already impressive science curriculum. It will also allow students to substantially increase their production of fruits and vegetables, allowing them to increase their capacity for growing and donating fresh and nutritious produce to people in need in the local neighborhood,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “These kinds of facilities are critical educational tools for our children and I look forward to expanding our network of school hydroponic labs across the borough in the years to come.”

Besides P.S. 62, six other Queens schools will each be receiving $175,000 in capital funding for their hydroponics labs as part of the Borough President’s $10.785 million allocation. Another school, P.S. 111 in Long Island City, will receive $250,000 for a state-of-the-art combined science and hydroponics lab.

In addition, the FY23 allocation supports science education at Bayside High School by providing $500,000 for their greenhouse. It also provides ten other schools with a combined $1.9 million to pay for improvements to their science labs and the purchase of new science technology.

In addition, the allocation includes a combined $2.3 million for computers, iPads, SMARTboards and other learning technology that will be used to support the general curriculum of 23 Queens schools.

Other highlights from the wide-raging allocation include:

  • A combined $1.2 million for auditorium upgrades at Maspeth High School, P.S. 171 in Ridgewood, M.S. 72 in Rochdale, and the World Journalism Preparatory School in Auburndale.
  • $500,000 for an athletic field renovation at Veritas Academy at Flushing High School.
  • $500,000 for P.S. 177 in Fresh Meadows to remodel a cafeteria to accommodate students with autism and other disabilities.
  • A combined $450,000 for playground improvements at P.S. 153 in Maspeth and P.S. 239 in Ridgewood.
  • $350,000 for a library upgrade at The Eagle Academy for Young Men III in St. Albans.
  • $300,000 for a public address system at the Mathematics, Science Research and Technology Magnet School in Cambria Heights.

      Borough President Richards was joined at the press conference by Queens school superintendents, P.S. 62 leadership and other local education leaders.

     Combining FY22 and FY23, Borough President Richards has allocated more than $22.3 million in capital funding to Queens schools since taking office in December 2020.