YONKERS, N.Y. -- New legislation that will appropriate funds to construct and upgrade schools in the Yonkers school district was approved Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, D-90th District, and Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-35th District, the new law establishes the first part of a multiphase project to construct and renovate Yonkers public schools.
The legislation creates a nine-member board that will have the authority to finance up to $523 million for the first phase of the Rebuild Yonkers Schools project. Phase 1 calls for the construction of up to three new buildings and critical infrastructure system replacements at up to 39 of the existing schools to make sure the schools are maintained and operated in a safe manner.
“The students of Yonkers deserve adequate space and up-to-date facilities to learn and develop to their fullest potential. I am proud to have sponsored and fought so hard for this legislation,” said Mayer.
The legislation provides a framework for the school district to address some of the structural problems that plague the Yonkers Public School District, especially deteriorating school buildings and a need for an additional 4,000 seats for students.
“Now that the governor has signed this bill into law, we have a strong foundation from which we can address the rebuilding of Yonkers schools,” said Stewart-Cousins.
The average age of a school building in Yonkers is 75 years -- 10 years older than the average age of school buildings in the rest of state. The buildings have deteriorated at a rate that has outpaced the district’s ability to repair them, and many buildings now represent serious impediments to learning and teaching.
“The governor’s signing of this act signifies our state and city’s commitment to our schools and to the thousands of students in the Yonkers Public Schools whose education will benefit from modern, healthy learning environments,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.