Kamran Jillani, ’17
As the New Year approaches, BHSEC is starting to prepare for several renovations that will take place throughout 2016. Assistant principal Ms. Sawick says, “We are always looking to improve BHSEC and while doing so we always look out for students’ safety.”
The first of many renovations will include replacing the outdated lights that hang in the majority of BHSEC classrooms. All New York City public schools were mandated to replace old light fixtures after a federal lawsuit was filed against New York City Department of Education by a group of Brooklyn parents. The old light fixtures also contain Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), a cancer causing compound. When used for over ten years, the existing light fixtures can start to release toxic gas produced by the PCB’s. Thankfully, no incidents have occurred as a result of these old light fixtures. BHSEC’s auditorium, cafeteria and library already have some of the new modern light fixtures that will be installed. The rest of the classrooms are expected to have them installed sometime later this school year.
Staircase C (the one that leads directly into the cafeteria) is also expected to undergo renovations. The flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy weakened the foundation beneath the staircase. The weakened foundation is what has been causing the walls around staircase C to crack. To fix this, the cafeteria floor will be dug out and refilled in order to create a more sturdy foundation. Since this renovation will take several weeks to complete, it is expected to take place in the summer of 2016. This means the entire school will be shut down and all BHSEC summer programs will be relocated to another school.
The last renovation that will occur on is the reconstruction of the school’s facade. For several years, the weakened facade has been causing water to leak onto areas of the fifth floor. It had been pointed a few years ago after Hurricane Sandy but hasn’t prevented the leakages. In order to protect school grounds from the renovation, scaffolding will be constructed outside the school and will stand until the renovation is completed. A small portion of the school’s yard (below the mural) will be fenced and shut down in order to store constructions materials. The reconstruction of the facade will take place during after school hours so noise from construction will not interfere with classes. This renovation to expected to last from January through December of 2016.
In addition to these major renovations, minor improvements will also happen. Monitors will be installed to make the security cameras that were installed this past summer usable. Students hope these renovations will be completed on time and will make BHSEC’s building safer and sturdier.