By Rachel Shapiro | firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — More than $28 million will be going to capital improvements on Staten Island this year, Borough President James Oddo announced Wednesday, including about $9.4 million to schools, $6.7 million to parks and $5 million for a new recreation center.
Of the $9.4 million for schools, Oddo allocated almost $3.5 million for technology projects and $5.9 million for infrastructure projects.
McKee High School will get $650,000 for engineering program software upgrades; PS 29 in Castleton Corners will get $100,000 for Smart Board upgrades, and Paulo Intermediate School (I.S. 75) in Huguenot will get $175,000 for Smart Boards.
PS 44 in Mariners Harbor will get $100,000 for additional security cameras; New Dorp High School culinary students will get an upgraded kitchen with $300,000, and PS 56 in Rossville will get $200,000 for a Pre-K activity center.
“Since my days in the City Council, I have always made it a priority to provide as much funding as possible to our schools,” Oddo said. “I always consult with our school principals to determine their needs through our Principals Roundtable events we hold periodically. The money going to our schools is funding that the principals have requested to help them better serve their students, and that they would not otherwise receive if we did not provide it.”
The $28 million comes from discretionary funding of the city’s capital budget for fiscal year 2016, which began in July.
Of the $6.7 million for parks, Oddo set aside almost $1.6 million “as an initial infusion of funds for a desperately needed renovation” of the Berry Houses baseball fields — additional funding will be needed.
Bloomingdale Park in Prince’s Bay will get almost $2.3 million for two projects split with former Councilman Vincent Ignizio: renovating the football/soccer field and creating two junior fields.
Greencroft Park in Great Kills will get $500,000 for rehabilitation and $1.5 million to build a 5K trail in Wolfe’s Pond Park in Prince’s Bay.
“We want Staten Island to be an ‘island in motion’ to improve the health and wellness of all Staten Islanders,” Oddo said. “This means we must invest in our parks facilities to improve them and encourage more Staten Islanders to take part in the various activities that take place in them.”
Staten Island cultural organizations, including Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Museum, the St. George Theatre, Historic Richmond Town, and the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, will receive a total of almost $1.8 million for various infrastructure projects.
Oddo also allocated $500,000 to Richmond University Medical Center for an operating room upgrade and $515,000 to Staten Island University Hospital for breast tomosynthesis technology — a new type of mammogram that improves cancer detection rates.
NYC Housing Authority facilities will get $2 million, including $1.5 million to install security cameras at the Todt Hill Houses.
The borough president set aside $5 million in seed money for the proposed Kroc Center, a large, multi-use recreation center on the grounds of the former Bayley Seton Hospital.
The project still needs millions in funding from the Salvation Army, but the seed money is Oddo’s way of demonstrating his commitment to the project.
See the chart for a complete list of projects funded in the fiscal year 2016 capital budget.