Schools in Southwest Brooklyn will be getting some extra cash from the city to fund such innovative projects as an urban farm and new science labs, according to the lawmaker who worked to make sure the dollars were included in the city budget that was finalized in the spring.
Councilmember Mark Treyger, chairperson of the City Council’s Education Committee, said the additional funding is much needed in many schools in his district covering Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst to ensure that local students can learn in a high-quality environment.
Treyger, who was a history teacher at New Utrecht High School before entering politics and winning a council seat in 2013, secured a total $10 million for schools located in his district in the latest budget. The lawmaker also got $1.3 million that will specifically go toward technology upgrades in schools.
The new expenditures include $39,000 for the Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies, which had previously received $500,000 to start an urban farm on campus. Treyger worked with council Speaker Corey Johnson to put the funding in the budget. The money will also go toward a garden at the school.
P.S. 90 will be getting $185,000 and David Boody Intermediate School will receive a boost with $100,000. Treyger also secured $75,000 in the budget for P.S. 186.
“As a former educator, and now the chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education, it is my belief that every classroom should be equipped with smartboards, and that every student has access to laptops and all of the modern educational tools and resources that empower our children to thrive academically. I’m proud to have secured significant funding that moves us closer to that goal,” Treyger said in a statement.
There will also be several renovation projects taking place in local schools, according to Treyger, who said he secured funding for John Dewey High School, I.S. 281, I.S. 303, P.S. 95, P.S. 188 and P.S. 205 for auditorium and gym upgrades, new air conditioning and library reconstructions.
“It’s no secret that safe, comfortable, updated school facilities create an environment that is conducive for learning,” Treyger said. “I’m proud to continue injecting critical funding to maintain the upkeep of our schools and libraries, because our community’s children and families deserve nothing less.”
Treyger recently visited Dewey, in Gravesend, where a new $2.8 million state-of-the-art culinary arts kitchen/classroom is currently under construction after he secured the funding for it.
The school has a culinary arts program for budding chefs and hotel entrepreneurs. The program is part of the school’s Business, Hospitality and Tourism Academy, a separate course of study within the larger school.
The new culinary center, to be located on the school’s first floor, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019. The facility will contain numerous and refrigerators, student work stations and a dry goods storage room, among other amenities.