One Southeast Queens school will soon see an investment that encourages students returning to class this fall to have fun.
As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s City Hall in Your Borough week, the city announced that PS 136 in St. Albans would see major capital investments in order to open a new playground at the school by 2019.
“For so many families and children in Southeast Queens, there haven’t been enough places to go and places to play and get exercise,” the mayor said. “Today, we want to right some of those wrongs and make sure that we open up some spaces for the good of our families.”
The school will be one of 10 new sites added to the city’s Schoolyards to Playgrounds program, which provides funding to schoolyard sites in need of renovations big and small.
“Every New Yorker deserves access to quality recreational space,” de Blasio said. “This program is an innovative way to bring more residents within walking distance to a park simply by opening up our schoolyards to the public when school isn’t in session.”
In addition to PS 136, PS 306 in Woodhaven will receive smaller scale improvements, including a new sports coating, safety surface to keep kids from hurting themselves and new fencing.
The projects are being funded with $18.2 million from the city’s Parks Department and $6 million in Community Development Block Grants. According to the mayor’s office, these additional outer borough sites will help to close the city’s goal of bringing 85 percent of New Yorkers within walking distance to a park by 2030.
Southeast Queens leaders stood alongside the mayor during his announcement last Friday and said that they were excited to see an investment of this scale come to their respective districts.
“My office continues to promote a healthy lifestyle and I am pleased the administration is funding these capital improvements, so residents in Southeast Queens will have additional places to exercise,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans). “The improvements to our school’s playground will be another step in the right direction to ensure our young scholars are physically active at a young age.”
State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said that the investment would “not only benefit [city] students, but also residents of all ages in the 14th Senate District.” And Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) praised the mayor and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina for the upgrades.
“Our next generation is so critical to the development of our community and this initiative highlights that,” he said.