A video editorial calls on the state Legislature to pass a bill that would fund the construction of three new Yonkers public schools.
The time is now for the state Legislature to begin funding the long-delayed — and inevitable — rebuilding of the crumbling and dangerously overcrowded Yonkers school buildings.
Bills in the Assembly and Senate would provide upfront state aid to help Yonkers build three new schools. The students and staff of Yonkers desperately need safe, modern, and reasonably spacious facilities. We call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to secure the funding for three new schools and additional renovations before the current session ends.
If they fail to do so, the state will be forced to pay up before long. The Yonkers schools are almost 5,000 students over capacity, and enrollment continues to grow.
The new legislation does not include a dollar amount, saying the cost is to be determined. It would cover the construction of three new schools — a high school and two elementary/middle schools — at an estimated cost of about $350 million. But Yonkers still needs about another $185 million for immediate renovations to other schools. These projects are part of a planned $535 million “Phase I” of a long-term $2 billion rebuilding of the city’s schools.
It has been common knowledge in Albany for a decade that Yonkers’ 39 public school buildings must be rebuilt. The city has among the oldest schools in the country, at an average age of about 75. One elementary school, School 5, opened in 1884. The city and state spend millions each year, sometimes tens of millions, to patch roofs,…