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Coney Island high school for older students to get new hydroponics lab, facility for podcasts

Plants would be grown without soil

September 18, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Councilmember Mark Treyger and Principal April Leong announced on Friday that a new hydroponics lab and newsroom classrooms are coming to Liberation Diploma Plus High School in Coney Island.

The lab and classrooms are coming courtesy of a $455,000 grant in FY22 City Council capital funding. The school, at 2865 W. 19th St., is a transfer alternative school, which admits older students who have fallen behind in credits, dropped out or need a fresh start, according to the Inside Schools website.

Hydroponics is a type of horticulture that involves growing plants, usually crops, without soil by using mineral-nutrient solutions. Because hydroponic farming uses less space than conventional farming, it’s often used for indoor locations — such as a school building.

Once the city funds are released to Liberation High School, Principal Leong will work with the NYC School Construction Authority to develop designs for the newsroom and the hydroponics lab. 

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Leong envisions a podcast-producing space for students with the newsroom technology funds that have been secured. And with the harvest from the hydroponics lab, the school plans to share fresh produce with the Coney Island community to provide access to affordable and healthy food. 

April Leong, principal of Liberation Diploma Plus High School. LinkedIn photo

The school sustained heavy damage during Superstorm Sandy, and Treyger previously secured $3.7 million in capital funding in the budget during fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020 for renovations and upgrades to the auditorium and gymnasium. The new investment will help further Liberation High School’s revitalization, enabling new scholastic and extracurricular opportunities that promote active learning and technical skills.

“I am thrilled to be able to further support Liberation High School’s revival, by investing in 21st century cutting-edge facilities that will help prepare our students to thrive academically. This school has suffered from disinvestment historically and was devastatingly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Many students and families face serious challenges outside the classroom, and we owe it to them to make sure that Liberation High School scholars have access to every opportunity,” said Treyger.

“Words will never be enough to express the gratitude the Liberation Community has for Councilman Treyger. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to improving our educational facilities.  Most of all thank you for believing our students are worthy of all things great,” said Liberation Diploma Plus Principal Leong.

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