2005-09-30 / Community

Developer Donates Edgemere School ‘For The Kids’

By Howard Schwach


Officials pose prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. From left they are Michelle Lloyd-Bey (District 27 Superintendent), Dr. Geraldine Chapey (a State Regent), Developer Ron Hershco, Principal Michael Quattrocchi, and school LIS Ben Waxman.Officials pose prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. From left they are Michelle Lloyd-Bey (District 27 Superintendent), Dr. Geraldine Chapey (a State Regent), Developer Ron Hershco, Principal Michael Quattrocchi, and school LIS Ben Waxman. An off-hand remark for the principal of a Far Rockaway school led this week to the ribbon cutting for a brand new early childhood center donated and constructed by a local developer.

As Michael Quattrocchi, the principal of PS/MS 43 in Edgemere told the story at the ribbon cutting, he was having an ad-hoc meeting at the school with Ron Hershco, the president of United Homes, who was developing dozens of new two-family homes, town houses and apartments in the area. In all, Hershco has brought in more than 500 new residents to an area within five blocks of the school.

City Councilman James Sanders said that he’d rather be playing balloons with the kids than standing on the stage.
City Councilman James Sanders said that he’d rather be playing balloons with the kids than standing on the stage. “Ron said that he was glad that the kids moving into his new homes would have a school like PS 43 to go to,” the principal said. “I told him that the school was already overcrowded and that the kids who were moving into his homes nearby would probably be bused to other local schools.”

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer speaks to the large crowd.
Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer speaks to the large crowd. “What can I do for you,” Hershco reportedly asked Quattrocchi.

“Build me a new school,” Quattrocchi answered without thinking that it would be possible.

“OK, I’ll build it,” the developer said.

The ribbon was cut on that 200-pupil, $2.5 million early childhood center on Monday morning.

Hershco met with the city and bought a piece of land across the street from the school’s portable classrooms.

The new building sits right across the street from the school’s portable classrooms.The new building sits right across the street from the school’s portable classrooms. “I wanted the kids who live in my houses to have a neighborhood school to attend,” Hershco said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “The school was the least I could do for the community. Rather than ignoring the overcrowding, we decided to give something back to the community”

Councilman James Sanders, who attended the ribbon-cutting said that he did not take Hershco at his word.

“When I heard that he had met with school officials, I became a believer,” he said.

District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey presents a plaque in appreciation to Ron Hershco.
District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey presents a plaque in appreciation to Ron Hershco. “”If every developer who came to our community followed this model, we wouldn’t have a school overcrowding problem,” Sanders added.

The center houses six classrooms, a multipurpose room, a music room and two administrative offices.


Jack Hutton and his family pose with school staffer Jeanie Murtaugh. A story book quilt was presented to the school in the name of Alma Hutton, the first pre-K teacher assigned to the school.Jack Hutton and his family pose with school staffer Jeanie Murtaugh. A story book quilt was presented to the school in the name of Alma Hutton, the first pre-K teacher assigned to the school.The 101 Precinct school safety unit was on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony.The 101 Precinct school safety unit was on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony.Quattrocchi, Lloyd-Bey, Hershco and State Senator Malcolm Smith cut the ribbon on the new building.Quattrocchi, Lloyd-Bey, Hershco and State Senator Malcolm Smith cut the ribbon on the new building.

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