FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW YORK CITY'S INVESTMENT IN THE MOST NEW CLASSROOM SEATS IN MORE THAN TWO DECADES DESPITE ONGOING BUDGET CHALLENGES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 5, 2010
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"When the new school year starts on Wednesday, we'll open the doors of new school buildings that really stand out, both in quantity and quality. We're adding more than 17,000 new classroom seats to the school system - the most the City has brought on line in one year in more than 20 years. In fact, we're on course to create a net of nearly 100,000 new classroom seats citywide in the ten-year period that ends in 2013; that's roughly equivalent to the entire public school enrollment in the city of Baltimore.
"What's more, we're raising the curtain on some of the most innovative and exciting new schools New Yorkers have ever seen. Last week, I paid a visit to Exhibit A: The striking new Mott Haven Education Campus. Covering nearly nine acres of a former South Bronx rail yard, it's the largest public school construction project in recent memory. It will be home to five separate schools with more than 2,300 students, including schools with already-established track records of academic excellence. With new labs, libraries, a 600-seat performing arts center, and its own regulation-sized football field, it's a dream that community groups and leaders have worked for years to make come true. And it really symbolizes the revival of the South Bronx.
"The Mott Haven campus is the biggest project completed under a $13.1 billion school capital plan, funded 50/50 by the City and State. It's been the largest school construction and renovation program in the city's history, and has financed nearly all the 26 new school facilities we're opening this week. They also include, for example, the new Gateway to the Health Sciences Secondary School on the grounds of Queens Hospital Center. Students there will have 20 dazzling new labs, as well as the chance to work as volunteers with the hospital's health care professionals. The doors will also open for more than 1,900 students in two schools at the long-awaited Metropolitan Avenue campus in Queens. The new PS/IS 276 in Battery Park City will be our greenest school yet in its use of solar power and other environmentally advanced features. We're also christening the new Harbor School on Governors Island. Until now, Harbor School students learning about marine science have had to trek miles to the waterfront from the school's current home in landlocked Bushwick. But starting Wednesday, they'll attend classes right in the heart of New York Harbor.
"The School Construction Authority deserves tremendous credit for making these projects happen, and for improving our school construction and renovation process. The result: Our kids are getting the modern schools they need now, built at an average per-square-foot cost that's down 28 percent, adjusted for inflation, since 2002. Student progress in learning has matched these advances in classroom construction. Proof: The roughly $300 million in new funds the city's public schools stand to receive, thanks to a Federal Race to the Top award for education innovation last month. That puts a seal of approval on how New York City has set the agenda, and set the pace, in turning schools around statewide. The next leg of the educational race to the top starts Wednesday: The first day of class in an exciting new school year. And it's a race we're going to help all our students win.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Have a great Labor Day. And thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address