The funds are part of $35 million that the Port Authority plans to donate to schools in both New York and New Jersey affected by noise because they are near major airports. Leading the way in Queens is Beach Channel High School in the Rockaways, which will receive more than $13 million in soundproofing funds in 2007. Elsewhere in the borough, IS 180Q, also in the Rockaways, will receive $3.2 million towards the cause while Vaughn College in Flushing will receive $100,000. The money donated by the Port Authority is part of a project started by the group in 1983 to insure schools located in the vicinity of airports in the tri-state area are affected minimally by air traffic. The Port Authority administers each of the three major airports in the tri-state area, including LaGuardia International Airport in Astoria and JFK International Airport in South Ozone Park. "Reducing the impact of noise on those schools most directly affected is just one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to being good neighbors to residents of the communities we serve," said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Corcia. The Port Authority said they will continue providing funds for soundproofing in schools in areas federally defined as "noise-affected areas" as long as federal funding exists for the project. The soundproofing program is a joint effort between the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, which generally contributes about 80 percent of the funding for the project under their Airport Improvement Program. Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris said the project has contributed nearly $400 million to schools since it started. "Twenty-four years ago, the Port Authority said it would make sure that students in schools affect by aircraft noise would be provided with a quiet learning environment," Shorris said. "Including this authorization, we've invested $391.3 million to make good on our commitment, with tens of thousands of schoolchildren in New York and New Jersey as the beneficiaries." Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2007 Community News Group
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