BY LUIS GRONDA
The much-maligned trailers next to Richmond Hill High School will soon be removed.
That is among the changes coming to the school thanks to a big chunk of cash the facility is getting.
According to the DOE, the school will get about $8.7 million for renovations that will “help its students thrive.”
“We will be removing trailers from the campus, and also building state-of-the art facilities, including a science lab, dance room, a fitness center, and refurbishing the school yard to include a soccer and softball field, as well as 1.5 basketball courts and bench seating. We plan to remove trailers by summer 2015,” a department spokesperson said in an email.
A press conference held last week at the school touted the money that the school would be getting.
Vishnu Mahadeo, a representative from State Sen. James Sanders (D- South Ozone Park) office, said the money allocated to the school was a result of community leaders, elected officials and parents working together to benefit a learning facility.
“This partnership has yielded significant results and has impacted the Richmond Hill High School in a very positive way,” he said.
Mahadeo first announced the news at a Community Board 9 meeting last month.
Other leaders weighed in during the event at the school’s auditorium.
Barbara Sherman, the Deputy Policy Director for Public Advocate Letitia James, said the Public Advocate got involved in this issue after learning about “the terrible conditions of Richmond Hill High School,” meaning the trailers that were set up outside the school.
“When James heard about this, her first mission was to come tour the trailers and what we saw was not a good learning environment,” she said.
The trailers were first set up in 2012 to address the school’s ongoing overcrowding. It was then among several schools that was slated to be closed last year, but that was later averted.
The students that were taking classes in the trailers will be moved back to the main building in newly created classrooms that are located within the building, Mahadeo said.
According to the DOE spokesperson, removing the trailers and creating the new outside space is funded by the agency’s capital plan.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com or @luisgronda.