P.S. / I.S. 217 Project Soon Heading into Design Stage
New York, NY (April 19, 2016) – City Council Member Ben Kallos today pledged an additional $350,000 to P.S. / I.S. 217’s STEM green roof, bringing his commitment to a total of $1 million for the project. Together with funding committed by the Manhattan Borough President, the greenroof now has sufficient backing to begin the design and bidding phase.
For the second year straight green roofs received top votes and for the second time technology for schools won Participatory Budget ballot. A healthy showing of voters on Roosevelt Island
helped P.S. / I.S 217’s STEM Green Roof project garner $150,000 as the third highest vote getter “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) continue to be where residents are voting to invest their tax dollars to prepare our children for the future,” said Council Member Ben
Kallos. “Thank you to Participatory Budgeting Delegates for leading the process as well as
residents 14 and over for voting.”
"Due to the strong showing of support for green roofs two years in a row," stated City Council Member Kallos, "We will allocate the full $500,000 for the green roof at P.S. / I.S. 217, which combines last year's allocation of $500,000, and a minimum of $250,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, to ensure the project will begin scoping."Assembly Member Seawright has also nominated the P.S. / I.S. 217 Green Roof project for an
additional $500,000 in State support. “At a time when New York City schools are fighting to provide excellent education while faced with a challenge of limited space and overcrowding, I am happy to have nominated P.S. / I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island for the New York State Capital Project Funding of $500,000. The school’s proposal to create a green roof, a space for numerous educational opportunities for the students of Roosevelt Island, is remarkable. I am looking forward to seeing this project flourish and offer my support to the principal and school leadership in the process,” said Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright.
Said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, “Facilities like this planned green roof make project based
STEM education possible, and promote a deeper, more enriching learning experience. At the same time, green roofs reduce the ‘urban heat island’ effect and improve our air quality – a “Thank you to all of the supporters from our community and the city for voting for the P.S. / I.S.217 STEM Green Roof,” stated Principal Mandana Beckman. “This green roof will further enhance the learning opportunities for the students and families of P.S. / I.S. 217 and the residents of Roosevelt Island.”
“We are thrilled to support this project, enabling the children to earn the funds needed to continue an ecofriendly initiative. The green roof will minimize heat output on the island, clean the air, improve our health, and provide a unique classroom, giving the students a tremendous opportunity to directly experience their impact on our environment.” said Susan Rosenthal, Acting President/CEO & General Counsel, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.
"Roosevelt Island is full of passionate residents and it is a testament to their ability to come together and support each other," stated Jeffrey Escobar, President Roosevelt Island Residents Association, "congratulations on this commitment to our future."
Ursula Fokine, Instructional Coach for P.S. / I.S. 217 added that “Students and teachers are planning our open air classroom for STEM and arts enrichment learning. We will create an inspirational space that provides a habitat for native species, captures rainwater runoff, reduces energy consumption, and provides a green space for all. We are also eager to identify and develop STEM projects that support our environment by tapping into the technical expertise of our partner, Cornell Tech.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to share our expertise and passion for this important project,” noted the Roosevelt Island Garden Club’s president, Ali Schwayri, “Engaging children early sets them on a lifelong path of learning and interest in being stewards of our planet.”
"What fantastic news the week of Earth Day, that the green roof project can become a reality for the growing population of young children on Roosevelt Island,” stated Eva Bosbach, founder of the Roosevelt Island Parents’ Network, "With a green roof in the middle of our community, every day can be Earth Day for Roosevelt Island families. Thank you all who teamed up in this Christina Delfico, who helped navigate the green roof project as iDig2Learn’s founder. The cost for P.S./I.S. 217’s 6,750 squarefoot green roof has been estimated at $1.5 million. Organizers said that they hope to have the project in full swing by 2018.
Groups and individuals involved in this project include New York City Council Member Ben Kallos and his team (including Sushant Harite, Paul Westrick and Josh J. Jamieson ), Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer (including Bodi Du, Debbie C. Timothy, Vladimir Martinez, Jessica Mates and Andrew Goldston), New York State Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright (including Katarina Matic), Citizens Committee for New York City, Grow to Learn NYC, GrowNYC, P.S./I.S. 217, Girl Scout Troop 3244 & 3245 of Beacon/Youth Program, Brownies Girl Scout Troop 3001 sponsored by Manhattan Park, 217PTA, designer Nathalie Chetrit, The WIRE, Roosevelt Islander Online, Roosevelt Island Residents Association, Roosevelt Island Community Coalition, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Sharon Bermon, New York Public Library (Roosevelt Island branch), Roosevelt Island Historical Society, Music Together, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, Roosevelt Island Parents' Network, and iDig2Learn.