Leaky roof at JHS 237 tops CEC 25’s wish list

A bucket catching rainwater leaking through the ceiling at the East-West School of International Studies doubles as a wishing well for the students. Photo courtesy East-West School
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Community Education Council District 25 voted last week for five school building problems it would most like to see fixed by the city, although that hardly means the projects are a done deal.

At a Jan. 4 meeting, the council mulled over a wishlist created by principals of elementary and junior high schools in the district, which includes Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Bay Terrace, Auburndale and Murray Hill as well as parts of Bayside and Fresh Meadows.

Many of the requests included plumbing and electrical upgrades that created annoying problems at the school.

Every one of the principals at the five schools either did not respond to requests for comment or could not be reached by press time. The city Department of Education did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

“I think we all structured our lists as far as the things that are needed in order to maintain a facility,” said Kenneth Cohen II, who sits on the council. “I don’t understand how school buildings are allowed to operate when the structural foundation is not up to par, or the electrical conditions are not up to par.”

Coming in first place was JHS 237, at 46-21 Colden St. in Flushing, which has a leaky roof, according to an educator that works in the building.

Benjamin Sherman is the principal of the East-West School of International Studies, which is co-located inside the junior high school.

High schools themselves are not dealt with by the CEC and not eligible for funds, but Sherman’s small school is on the top floor of the middle school, where he gets a first-hand look at the porous roof.

Water drips down from so many holes in the ceiling that Sherman and his students have to drag out multiple buckets, which they jokingly call “wishing wells.” His students flip coins into the watery basins throughout rainy days.

“I felt really strongly that IS 237 should be at the top, because their issue was a building necessity,” Cohen said.

Second on the list was an electrical upgrade for PS 193, at 152-20 11th Ave. in Whitestone. Although the principal could not be reached for comment, a woman answering the phones said, “Thank God.”

The principal of that school also had come to previous meetings to detail the problems facing her school, according to the CEC.

At PS 32, at 171-11 35th Ave. in Auburndale, educators said their auditorium needed upgrades to its ventilation system and windows, according to the documents read by council members.

The council voted it as the third in line to receive funds.

Coming in fourth and fifth were PS 184, at 163-15 21st Road in Whitestone, and JHS 185, at 147-26 25th Drive in Flushing, which the council also hoped would eventually see electrical upgrades.

But the CEC’s list is not the final stop.

At the council’s December meeting, officials from the construction authority said the city has to fix the worst cases throughout the five boroughs first.

That means that if any roof leaks more than JHS 237, it will get repaired beforehand.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 7:52 pm, January 11, 2012
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