Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Meeks, De Blasio Announce Over $35 Million In Sandy-Relief Funding For Repairs Made To Rockaway’s Beach Channel High School

Jul 14, 2015

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Gregory Meeks and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced $35,264,759 in federal funding for the New York City School Construction Authority. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding is a reimbursement for permanent Sandy-related repairs made to the Beach Channel High School.

Beach Channel High School, in Jamaica Bay, Queens suffered severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.  Some of the funds will be used for continued repairs to the fire alarm and PA systems, the plumbing and electrical systems, the heating plant, the boiler room and its boilers, the oil and tank room, the auditorium stage, the restrooms, the steam traps, the hot water pump, the woodshop, the swimming pool pump room and the facility grounds.  The funds are also being used for mitigation efforts in the event of future storms, including the installation of flood barrier systems for doors, raising vents and fuel pumps,  the installation of flood gates, reinforced concrete walls and pads to support building foundations and to create a water tight room for the mechanical and electrical systems.

The school has already completed repairs on the fire alarm system, the football field and the power for the score board.  The federal funding will help the school continue its progress to repair the floors, walls and doors of rooms throughout the school as well as the domestic water system, the electrical system and the heating plant. 

“There is no better federal investment than one that helps educate students in a safe and learning-friendly environment,” said Senator Schumer. “Rockaway’s Beach Channel High School was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and these funds will help reimburse the cost of repairs to this school in a way that does not leave local taxpayers footing the bill.”

“This FEMA funding is a critical investment in our students and in Beach Channel High School,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Superstorm Sandy devastated our communities, and this grant will help cover the cost of ongoing renovations to the school. I will continue to fight for funding to rebuild our infrastructure even stronger so our kids have a safe place to learn and so that we are ready when the next storm hits.”

“I join my colleagues and Mayor de Blasio in announcing an important investment to help rebuild and restore facilities at Beach Channel High School that were severely damaged by Super Storm Sandy. Our students and our schools must always come first and in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy this has remained my focus. I look forward to continuing my work with the Mayor, my colleagues, and FEMA to ensure that our communities are restored completely,” said Rep. Meeks.

“This funding marks another step toward ensuring that the Rockaways – and our entire city – are stronger and more resilient after Sandy,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Nothing is more important than providing our kids with safe environments in which they can learn and thrive. This will cover critical work we’ve already done, as well as additional repairs and mitigation measures to prepare for the future. Thank you to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Meeks, and all of our federal partners for their continued leadership.”

“This massive federal investment will help rebuild and better protect Rockaway’s hard-hit Beach Channel High School. I give tremendous credit to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Meeks for fighting for this Sandy-relief funding which will ensure our children receive the quality education they deserve,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder.

“In order for our students to reach their full potential, we must provide them with safe environments in buildings that provide top-notch facilities for a variety of academic and athletic endeavors. This funding is critical and moving forward, it is crucially important that we make the investments necessary to ensure our schools are resilient and prepared should catastrophe strike again,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

Beach Channel High School, like many other schools along the shoreline, suffered extreme damage due to Superstorm Sandy. Damages affected Beach Channel High School’s campus in addition to the school’s heating system. Due to the floodwater and heavy winds of the hurricane, Beach Channel’s oil tanks, integral to the heating system, and piping system under the ballfield, were severely affected. 

New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) is responsible for the management, budgeting, and construction of New York City public schools. This funding is being provided under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Act. The funding is being used to cover direct administration costs and hazard mitigation funding.