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District 29 parents slam Ed Dept. plan

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The plan, which was made by an outside company for the DOE, runs through fiscal years 2005-2009, but there have been some changes made.District 29 encompasses Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Laurelton, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens and Rosedale in southeast Queens.Ernstine Johnson, the PTA president of PS 38 in Rosedale, took issue with the fact that the school, which he said has no library, auditorium or air conditioning, was left out of the capital plan."We still can't get a portable library in our school," Johnson said. "We were promised an extension to our building. Every year... 38 is never mentioned. What? We don't exist?" he told Deborah Perry of the School Construction Authority after she disclosed which schools were included in the plan.CDEC 29 board member Timothy James agreed with Johnson."How in the world did they miss 38 of all schools?" he said. When he asked Perry what company made the assessment, she was unable to give an answer.Another concerned parent lashed out at the plan because she disapproved of the manner in which it was carried out."What bothers me the most... before anything happens nobody comes to the taxpayers," she said. "That is an insult to the community. I'm very disappointed with the community not being able to have an input." She called the process in developing the capital plan a "totalitarian regime."When one parent mentioned that more than $6 million in state funding was yet to be provided for projects at her child's school, CDEC 29 President John Tillman noted that it takes extra effort to get the state to hand over the funds."We have to lobby as a community for this money," he said, noting that a "large portion" of the capital projects proposed for District 29 is to be funded through the state.Among District 29 schools receiving more than $1 million in projects that will begin construction between 2006 and 2008 are: IS 59 in Springfield Gardens, which is receiving about $2.5 million to replace exterior windows, classrooms, corridors and the floor finish of the kitchen; IS 109 in Queens Village ($3 million) for a new science lab and to replace portions of its exterior, including the chimney, walls and awnings; PS 138 in Rosedale ($1.1 million in state funding) for a new science lab and locker room conversion; PS 147 in Cambria Heights ($1.8 million) to replace the fortified walls surrounding the school; IS 192 in St. Albans ($1.25 million in state funding) for a new science lab and cabinet removal; and IS 238 in Hollis ($4 million, $2.4 million of which is to come from the state) to upgrade the auditorium and replace the roof.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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