East Rockaway, NY - June 30, 2016 - U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded nearly $4.5 million to the East Rockaway School District for Sandy-related repairs and mitigation work at East Rockaway High School.
Students at the high school were displaced for six months after Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the school’s entire electrical system, main boilers, the gymnasium floor, multiple classrooms and the auditorium. The federal grant funding, totaling $4,479,432.65, will cover extensive mitigation work to help prevent damage from future storms, including the installation of submersible sump pumps, backflow preventers, 22 flood doors at the building’s exterior, 15 flood planks at specified openings, flood hatches at interior crawl space entry points, and a generator with a fuel tank.
“There is no better federal investment than one that helps educate our students in a safe and learning-friendly environment,” said Senator Schumer. “East Rockaway High School was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and these funds will help provide critical mitigation measures to make the school stronger and prevent damage in the event of a future storm.”
“I am pleased Long Island will get this federal funding from FEMA to help cover the cost of renovating East Rockaway High School,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call for the urgent need to invest in modern, updated infrastructure that keeps all New Yorkers more secure. We need to ensure that our children remain safe at school and I will continue to fight for resources so we can rebuild even stronger as recovery efforts continue.”
“After working hard to repair damage from Sandy and get students back into their classrooms, the East Rockaway High School community is now working hard to make the school more resilient,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “I’m grateful that these federal funds have come through to support their efforts, and I’ll keep working with school district officials to ensure they get the resources they need to make the school stronger and more prepared to withstand future storms.”
“The East Rockaway School District sustained $12 million in damages from Superstorm Sandy, and our high school students were displaced for six months while we worked to repair the building,” said East Rockaway School District Superintendent Lisa J. Ruiz. “While we continue to seek additional federal and state funds for further mitigation work and a retaining wall along the Mill River, this first grant award will help to better position the district to minimize future damage in the event of a reoccurrence and will serve to protect our school campus and facilities from the devastating effects of another major storm.”