2012-01-18 / Features

P.S. 234 Elementary School Gym Repaired

Following a joint effort by Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. and state Senator Michael Gianaris, the gymnasium at the Astoria Elementary School, P.S. 234, which suffered substantial flood damage, has been repaired and is now in use.

The school, located at 30-15 29th St., had been without a gym since September after severe rain storms and flooding damaged it beyond use. Students struggled to meet the state mandate of 120 minutes of physical education per week without use of the recreational area, according to school officials.

Immediately after being alerted to the problem by parents, Vallone and Gianaris worked with the Department of Education (DOE) and School Construction Authority (SCA) to expedite the renovations to ensure that students had access to the gym and required physical education.

Vallone and Gianaris urged the DOE and SCA to make the renovations a top priority after learning that repairs would not begin until the spring of 2012 at the earliest.

“At a time when childhood obesity is an increasing epidemic, schools must have fully functional gym facilities. I am pleased the students of P.S. 234 at long last have access to daily exercise and can fulfill their physical education requirements. Hopefully, the School Construction Authority will act more expeditiously when handling similar cases going forward so that students are not kept from important daily activity,” said Gianaris.

Due to their efforts, however, renovations were completed during the school’s winter break and the gym was open for use upon students’ return to school in early January.

“I’m not ashamed to say that gym was my favorite subject. It would have been unacceptable for our students to be left without physical activity for an entire school year. I am pleased to have worked with Senator Gianaris and the SCA to ensure that renovations were quick and efficient and our kids have their gym back,” said Vallone.

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