Student enrollment in the Yonkers (N.Y.) district is 20 percent over the capacity of the city's aging public school facilities, a study of district schools has concluded.
The building capacity study finds that the district's December 2015 enrollment of 26,736 was 4,428 more than the functional capacity of the district's 39 schools—22,308.
The findings from the building capacity study are the latest step in an effort by the Yonkers school district and its supporters to persuade the New York State Legislature to support a $2 billion, 13-year plan to rebuild all 39 public schools in the city of Yonkers. The average age of the schools is 75 years old, and many of the campuses have deteriorating conditions.
“So many Yonkers schools are over 100 years old,” Superintendent Edwin M. Quezada says. “They are crumbling around our students and staff. Patchwork repairs are no longer acceptable.”
Inadequate space in many schools has resulted in class sizes and special education services that fall below New York State Office of Facilities Planning standards. Several schools do not have libraries or playing fields.
The 2015-2016 capacity study, conducted by KG+D Architects, concludes that the gap between capacity and enrollment has widened since 2010, when a study put the gap at 4,100 seats. Even though the district has leased space to address its capacity problems, the gap continues to widen because enrollment continues to increase, and the growing need for spaces for students with special needs.
The Rebuild Yonkers Schools plan envisions a $2 billion, four-phase effort to build three new schools and remodel all 39 existing schools in Yonkers.
MORE:YouTube video from Rebuild Yonker Schools: