July 27, By Jason Cohen
Several Astoria schools will undergo significant capital improvements over the next year—from film studios to science labs—with more than $3.7 million from this year’s budget going into them, elected officials announced today.
A film studio is going to be built at the Young Women’s Leaders, located at 23-15 Newtown Avenue, via a budget allocation of $300,000 from Borough President Melinda Katz and $75,000 from Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria).
The school, which caters to grades six through 12, focuses heavily on movie making, with students often creating their own films. Currently, students are conducting their filmmaking in school hallways.
Funds have also allocated by Constantinides and Katz to promote the use of renewable energy in local schools and public spaces. More than $1.1 million is being spent on solar panels at PS 122 (21-21 Ditmars Blvd.), which will be the first public school in Astoria with this technology. The school also received $200,000 for soundproof walls in the lunchroom.
The borough president also allocated $500,000 for a new science lab at PSQ 300, 28-37 29th St., and $300,000 for bathroom renovations at IS 141, 37-11 21st Ave.
In part of an ongoing effort to improve science in schools, Constantinides set aside $160,000 for PS 84 (2245 41st Street) and IS 126 (31-51 21st Street) for new hydroponic science labs. This is a method of growing plants in water based nutrient rich solutions without using soil.
The councilman also allocated $900,000 for new technology at district schools.