Sep. 6, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed
To kick off the school year, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced a collective $580,000 for gymnasium and auditorium upgrades for three local schools in School Districts 25 and 26.
With students returning for another successful academic year, many will be greeted with renovations that took place over the summer and others will notice changes in the coming months.
M.S. 74 Nathaniel Hawthorne in Oakland Gardens received $80,000 for its gymnasium and P.S. 162 John Golden in Bayside and P.S. 24 Andrew Jackson in Flushing each received $250,000 for substantial upgrades to their auditoriums.
“The facilities at our public schools need renovations from all the wear and tear they go through providing for our youth,” Rozic said. “M.S.74, P.S.162, and P.S. 24 are no exception. It brings me great joy to allocate funding to upgrade these spaces and to ensure current and future students of these schools have well functioning and updated auditoriums and gymnasiums for all their assembly and athletic needs.”
To increase student safety and prevent injuries, M.S. 74 requested funding to install padding for their gymnasium walls as well as a new updated scoreboard. The students and student athletes of M.S. 74 will be able to enjoy these upgrades as soon as they walk into their building for their first day of school.
“When the community talks about M.S.74, academics and the arts are often the things that come to mind but an underreported facet of our greatness is the strength of our athletics,” said Principal Brandon Contarsy of M.S. 74. “Thanks to Assemblywoman Rozic’s advocacy and support, we can feel a renewed sense of pride in hosting games due in large part to her securing of funding for a new scoreboard and upgraded padding for the walls. Coming out of the pandemic our girls basketball team has won back to back district championships and while three-peats are always hard to achieve, these upgrades will give our girls (and our boys team) that extra home-court advantage that might make it possible.”
P.S. 24 requested funding for new stage and window curtains, stage rigging, and a sound system which has not been updated in over 50 years. Installation of this project will begin next month.
“Thanks to a generous grant from Assemblywoman Rozic, P.S. 24Q will be retrofitted with an updated stage area and a state-of-the-art sound system that hasn’t been updated in decades!” said P.S. 24 Principal Debra Cassidy. “Our children will now feel more confident when performing as their voices will project to the back of the auditorium — something that was not possible before — and we will now be able to expand our Theater Arts program, continue our partnership with ‘Disney Musicals in Schools’ and invite community organization to perform for our students.”
Lastly, P.S. 162 requested funding for a full upgrade to the electrical infrastructure of their auditorium. This includes audio/visual equipment, stage lighting, and upgraded paint. This project is slated for completion before the end of the school year.
“P.S. 162 is so grateful for Assemblywoman Rozic’s support of the John Golden family,” said P.S.162 Principal Eve Sci. “Through her generous funding, we will finally be able to have performances that would make our school’s namesake proud. In a time where funding is limited, it is wonderful to know that our representative still values the contribution that the arts bring to the development of children as they learn who they are and who they want to become.”
Additional education investments recently announced by Rozic include $250,000 and $120,000 respectively for technology upgrades to P.S. 154 and P.S. 120 in Flushing.