P.S. 264: A miracle on 89th Street
The ribbon cutting that took place at P.S. 264 on 89th Street and Fourth Avenues is proof that dreams really do come true.
What was once a car wash is now home to the Bay Ridge Elementary School of the Arts, complete with a library, gym, art studio, science lab, playground and a state-of-the-art theater complete with a grand piano.
It feels like it was a month ago that I was standing outside the car wash thinking, Could this really be a school? recalled Laurie Windsor, president of Community Education Council District 20 during a ceremony in the schools auditorium on October 3.
Inside and out, this is a beautiful school. Seeing this as a project, not a possibility is a gratifying feeling, like seeing your last child graduate, Windsor added.
Many members of community came out to support the new school. Captain Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct; Colonel Eluyn Gines, garrison commander of the Fort Hamilton Army Base; Borough President Marty Markowitz; State Senator Marty Golden; Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny all extended their best wishes for the students success.
Markowitz said that learning a language is important, especially the emerging ones including, Mandarin, Portuguese, Turkish and Arabic. This is the age to teach them. They are sponges! he said before handing a proclamation to Principal Patrice Edison.
Something awesome has been created here on 89th Street, commented Golden. This is a great moment in Bay Ridges history.
Gentile said that he was taken aback when he entered the auditorium. We are here to build leaders and self-confident young men and women, he said.
The community of Bay Ridge really deserves a school for the arts, Brook-Krasny commented. Its so wonderful that kids in this school will get knowledge of art, art history and music in such a beautiful building.
PTA President Christian Cope said that when he moved the neighborhood 12 years ago, he remembered the car wash. I watched the construction and thought this day would never come, he said. Dont you like that new school smell?
Before the ribbon cutting, smiling and dancing second graders performed a festive rendition of Celebration led by music teacher Ayah Rifai.
This reality has far, far succeeded my wildest dreams, Edison concluded.
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