Pataki Dedicates New
District 27 School
Governor George E. Pataki today joined city and local officials at a dedication ceremony for a new $60 million middle school in District 27, which included the Rockaways. The new Ozone Park school named "America's School of Heroes" will serve as a symbol and a living memorial to honor the victims of September 11 and the spirit of those Americans who have given of themselves.
The new school, MS 137, in Community School District 27, was originally planned as a combined elementary and middle school, but has been redesigned as a middle school to house 1,675 students in grades 6-8.
Since this new school is within our school district is falls within the "No Child Left Behind Law," which allows children in schools that are designated by the state as low-performing schools may transfer to another district school. The majority of the Rockaway elementary schools, as well as Middle School 198, are so designated.
The school's name is a recognition of the role of the first responders on September 11, 2001.
"Naming this school after our heroes is a touching reminder of what our heroes did, and what we have endured together," Governor Pataki said. "It also reminds us that we see heroes every day, working in our schools, educating our children and giving them comfort in times of trouble."
Senator Serphin Maltese said, "This magnificent building is a terrific display of patriotism to honor those that have lost their lives for our country. I want to thank Governor Pataki for his tremendous investment in New York City schools and schools statewide."
Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio said, "There is nothing more fitting than the dedication of this school to honor those heroes who have lost their lives, especially those who perished at the World Trade Center. I am honored to be here today for this wonderful dedication ceremony of M.S. 137, and I am glad that it is being given the title of America's School of Heroes."
Construction of the 181,500 square foot facility began in June of 2000 and was projected to cost $68 million, but final estimates total approximately $60 million. It contains 43 classrooms, eight special education classrooms, two science labs, six science demonstration classrooms, two computer labs, one distance learning lab, a 557-seat auditorium, a state of the art library, a gymnasium, two art classrooms and two speech resource classrooms.
Currently, the school houses about 1,200 6th and 7th graders and will add an 8th grade next year to reach the full 1,675 student capacity.