Legislation has been passed that will afford Yonkers millions of dollars to begin rebuilding “crumbling” schools and invest in new construction throughout the district.
Both houses of the New York State Legislature approved legislation sponsored by Assemblymembers Shelley Mayer and Gary Pretlow on Wednesday night that authorized accelerated funds to continue progress of the “Yonkers City School District Joint Schools Construction and Modernization Act.”
According to officials, the current average age of Yonkers school buildings is 75-years-old, with some having stood for more than 100 years. They also cited overcrowding, with the 27,000-student school district experiencing a seat overcapacity of more than 4,000 students, with another 1,500 students expected to enroll in the district in coming years.
The bill calls for the construction of three new school facilities to address the overcrowding. The proposed three new schools include a new Gorton High School and two new PreK-8 schools on Ravine Avenue and off of Ashburton Avenue.
“This legislation helps us accelerate efforts to ensure the thousands of students in the Yonkers City School District no longer have to endure overcrowding and schools that are crumbling around them,” Mayer stated. “This legislation will help increase funding for three new school buildings to dramatically help address the overcrowding problem.”
The Yonkers City School District Joint Schools Construction and Modernization Act was passed last year, allowing for financing up to $523 million for the first phase of school facility renovations.
“This legislation continues the great work we did last year, and actually accelerates the process of helping Yonkers students,” Pretlow added. “Yonkers students deserve an end to the overcrowding they are forced to endure, and this legislation will help us achieve that goal.”
An advocate of the bill from the start, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano called the bill a “milestone in our efforts to rebuild our schools.”
“This is a momentous moment for Yonkers,” Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada added. “Education in our city is about to soar to new heights because our elected leaders fought for Yonkers children’s rights – quality education delivered in 21st century schools.”