Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PS/IS 217 Green Roof And NY Public Library Technology For Hearing Impaired Among Roosevelt Island Projects Eligible For NYC Council Member Ben Kallos $1 Million Participatory Budget Funding

A Green Roof for Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 and technology for hearing impaired people at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library branch were among the projects showcased last Sunday at the Roosevelt Island Participatory Budgeting Info Expo presented by NYC Council Member Ben Kallos.

I spoke with Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Emily and Lilly at the Info Expo who described the proposed PS/IS 217 Green Roof.

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman adds:
In 2013, then Borough President Scott Stringer, awarded PS / IS 217 $35,000 for the School Construction Authority (SCA) to conduct a green roof feasibility report. The SCA met with school leadership and heard our wishes for 6,750 Sq. ft. of extended learning space for all curricula on our roof to serve K through 8th grade.

They considered structural work, safety, and design elements to include space for a green environmental science learning hub, an amphitheater for dance, art and theater and a place to explore renewable energy, and tech experiments. The SCA created a professional analysis and working budget and announced it is feasible for PS IS 217 to pursue funding for a green roof.

This was the first important step that allowed us to pursue funding. The SCA estimates $1.5 million and allows for two budget cycles to confirm funds which are historically a collaborative effort across city council and borough president.

In February 2015 we applied to Borough President Gale A. Brewer for capital funding, and now we are delighted that the Green Roof for PS / IS 217 made the Participatory Budget ballot for District 5 where city council member Ben Kallos allows his community to vote on projects important to them.

Only two projects from Roosevelt Island made the ballot so we invite every resident 16 years and older from District 5 to get out and vote. It is free to vote and with heavy competition from the Upper East Side and Midtown East projects more votes could help us make the green roof a reality and garner $500,000 for the project.
The other Roosevelt Island project eligible for Participatory Budget Funds will bring technology for hearing impaired people to the NY Public Library Roosevelt Island branch. Roosevelt Island resident Sharon Berman explains the project. (Sorry for the background noise in video).

Council Member Kallos
was at the Roosevelt Island Info Expo and provides more information about Participatory Budgeting and how to vote for your favorite project.

You can vote for up to 5 projects to be funded.

Here's the ballot with complete list of NYC Council District 5 eligible projects including
Green Roof for PS/IS 217 $500,000
Build a green roof for environmental education at PS/IS 217.
645 Main Street (Roosevelt Island) and

Study of Sight and Sound $35,000

Audio/Visual equipment with audio induction looping for the New York Public Library Roosevelt Island branch.
504 Main Street (Roosevelt Island)
Participatory Budget Funds Voting takes place:
WEEKDAYS, APRIL 13-17: District Office, 244 East 93rd St. 9 A.M. – 6 P.M.
WEEKENDS, APRIL 11-12 & 18-19: District Office, 244 East 93rd St. 12 P.M. – 4 P.M.

MONDAY, APRIL 13: PS/IS 217, 645 Main St., 7:30 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.
TUESDAY, APRIL 14: RI Senior Center, 546 Main St., 10 A.M. - 1 P.M.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15: RI Public Library, 524 Main St., 3 P.M. – 7 P.M.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18: RI Historical Society, Visitor Kiosk, 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.
and these other locations.

More information available from Council Member Ben Kallos here.