Workers Flunk Repair
1 Month After it was Taken Down, Construction Scaffold Returns Overnight at P.S. 86
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 13- A dozen burly construction workers arrived just before twilight, hours after the last child had left P.S. 86 in Kingsbridge Heights. Workers began putting up the steel and wood sidewalk-shed in the front of the school-- a month after the same workers had dismantled it.
Many of the parents of the 1,600-plus kindergarten and elementary school children who attend the Reservoir Avenue school, dubbed "The Kingsbridge Heights School," and residents of the block were surprised to see what is called a construction scaffold or sidewalk-shed, back in front of the school on the morning of May 1.
One resident recalled, "Yeah, they took it down and it went away and then it came back. It's crazy."
According to Jason Fink at the Department of Education (DOE), "This is an exterior modernization project. Some of the decorative terracotta that was part of the project had to be replaced by the manufacturer, so the contractor is going back to install the replacements."
Fink added that the contractor Vardaris Tech, Inc., was doing the work on the $4.5 million project.
Additional details were revealed when Anjaykumar Shaw of the DOE's School Construction Authority (SCA) stated, "At the time everything was fine and everything was done, but ultimately whatever winter conditions we went through, they went up there and found out what had happened."
Shaw elaborated on the problem, explaining, "Bolsters are the decorative pieces there (in the front of the building) and that bolster had some cracks in it."
Unable to provide an exact timeline, Shaw recalled, "We just realized after the winter, I would say... I don't know exactly, but in the last three or four weeks we came to know there was a problem."
Asked why the scaffolding came down in the first place, Shaw replied, "Oh, because work at the time seemed complete."
A follow up call to Shaw was re-directed to Nicole Halloway, the Bronx Community Relations Manager and the Project Support Manager for the School Construction Authority, who could not provide additional details, stating, "Because the building in question is a DOE facility, we cannot answer questions pertaining to that, only the DOE can."
Several parents stated they were very happy with the school, one believed it to be the largest public school in the borough.
One teacher called it an "A-plus" school and added, "Teacher morale here is great."
However, one parent who claimed her daughter was recommended powerful drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fumed, "They told me I had to be sympathetic to the fact that the teacher had 37 students."
Referring to P.S. 86, that parent added, "I feel like every time I hear a teacher, there telling a parent their child has ADHD."
In a follow-up e-mail, Fink stated there would be no additional cost to the SCA, and added the completion date is not yet known.
Calls to P.S. 86 Principal Fiona Tyson and contractor Vardaris Tech were not immediately returned.
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