May 1, 2017
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – New York City has dedicated $28.75 million over the next five years to purchase and install air conditioning units in all classrooms by 2022, providing thousands of students with a more comfortable learning environment.
“Making sure that all classrooms are air conditioned is one more commitment we’re making to ensure that nothing stands in the way of our students and a quality education,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I’ve spoken with countless parents at town halls across the city and this issue has come up repeatedly. We’re investing in classrooms to create a safe, comfortable atmosphere to build on the progress our schools have made over the last few years.”
Approximately 11,500 classrooms – 26 percent of all classrooms – across the City do not have functioning air conditioners and this funding will provide air conditioning to over 2,000 additional classrooms in the first year or the program. Installation in the first cohort of schools will begin this summer. The DOE is working closely with the SCA to prioritize summer school sites and assess school need based on building utilization and ability to accommodate the upgrades. Total funding for Fiscal Year 2018 is $5 million, $5.5 million for Fiscal Year 2019, $6 million for Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 and $6.25M for Fiscal Year 2022. In addition to funding for the air conditioner units and labor for instillation, the School Construction Authority’s five-year Capital Plan includes approximately $50 million for electrical upgrades to support the installation of air conditioning units. The city will reevaluate capital costs as installation progresses and adjust as necessary.
“This funding will ensure that every classroom across the City has air conditioning and that all students are provided with a safe, comfortable learning environment,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Schools in older buildings have long struggled to keep instructional spaces cool during the summer months and now they will be able to install air conditioners in every classroom.”