Parents worried about JHS 67 leaky pipeworks

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City officials have not come through on promises to fix leaks at JHS 67, resulting in health problems for students, Little Neck parents and school officials told a Community District Education Council 26 meeting last week.

“Our son has been to our family physician four times since September,” said Ambareen Rizvi, a Little Neck resident and mother of a sixth-grade student at JHS 67 at 51-60 Marathon Pkwy. “He says he’s been having breathing problems, has wheezing and stuffiness. I hope this does not become a chronic condition.”

Ambareen Rizvi and her husband, Syed Rizvi, said at Thursday’s CEC 26 meeting at JHS 67 they were considering removing their son from the school because of the health problems, which they said did not exist before he began going to the Little Neck school.

JHS 67 Principal Zoi McGrath said city officials recently told them they abandoned a project that was expected to address the leaks that McGrath said have occurred at the school since 2008. According to school officials, water will leak from the roof into the school and it “flows” through five especially problematic classrooms, including the band, jazz and drama rooms.

“On rainy days you definitely see puddling in those rooms,” said CEC 26 member Jeannette Segal. “It’s affecting rooms where the children are. There’s an odor in there.”

While school officials said they were informed the project had been canceled, city School Construction Authority representative Mary Leas said education officials told her the project would still occur.

“There’s over $500,000 put aside for the project,” Leas said. “They’re going to precede shortly to inform the school what they’re going to do.”

JHS 67 officials said the leaks have created health problems for students and they were concerned about potential problems with mold and asbestos.

“They come here every day and they can’t breathe,” JHS 67 PTA President Ingrid Guapisaca said. “We have children with excessive breathing problems.”

Leas promised city education officials would work with the school to alleviate the problem.

“There’s nothing that causes more damage to a building than water,” Leaks said. “A water infiltration problem like you’re talking about should be addressed right away.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 6:23 pm, October 10, 2011
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