UES Votes To Revamp Schoolyard, Bolster Library Tech and Refresh Carl Schurz Park Paths

Participatory budgeting process called on community votes, allocating a total of $1.38 million in funds

| 20 Apr 2022 | 03:07

Upper East Siders have spoken over the past few months — and can expect to see some improvements in their neighborhoods in the not-too-distant future. Council Member Julie Menin announced on Monday the results of her first go at participatory budgeting, a process which allows community members to vote on projects they’d like to see funded.

This year, of the more than 40 projects proposed, locals rallied behind resurfacing M.S. 114 and P.S. 138’s schoolyard, upgrading technology at three District 5 public libraries and repaving 10,000 square feet of pathways in Carl Schurz Park. “I am thrilled that our Office’s first annual participatory budgeting process was an unqualified success with robust community engagement,” Menin said.

In addition to the three winning projects, totalling close to $1 million in funding, Menin is dedicating extra cash to three more undertakings: installing four new NYPD security cameras, renovating two bathrooms in M.S. 177 and introducing eight water bottle filling stations at P.S. 151. “Hundreds of constituents have reached out to our office about these projects,” Menin said, “so it is great to foster civic engagement in the entire community and help these projects come to fruition.”

Winning Projects:

Schoolyard Resurfacing at M.S. 114 and P.S. 138

798 votes, $380,000

Funding for this project will see the replacement of “slippery, degraded mats of the schoolyard” used for more than a decade, Menin’s office announced. “We are eager to revive our yard with new matting that will keep our students happy, safe and clean,” said David Getz, the principal of M.S. 114 and P.S. 138.

New Public Library Technology

798 votes, $250,000

“Technology enhancements,” as described by Menin’s office, will be made at the Roosevelt Island, Webster and 67th Street public library branches. “It is an honor to be chosen by those we serve to receive this important funding,” said Sumie Ota, the New York Public Library’s associate director for the East Manhattan Neighborhood Library Network.

Carl Schurz Park Pathway Revamp

747 votes, $300,000

Funding for this project will support the repaving of 10,000 square feet of pathways through the park. “It is wonderful to see that Carl Schurz Park means so much to so many,” said Judy Howard, board chair of the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy.

Additional Projects:

New NYPD Cameras

668 votes, $160,000

Four NYPD cameras in the district will “enhance crime prevention, provide a sense of security in public areas, and establish surveillance in underserved areas,” Menin’s office said.

Re-done M.S. 177 Bathrooms

665 votes, $225,000

One faculty bathroom and one student bathroom — both in a “general state of disrepair,” according to Menin’s office — will receive full renovations.

Water Bottle Filling Stations at P.S. 151

652 votes, $64,000

Eight water bottle filling stations will span five floors at P.S. 151, thanks to the newly-allocated funding.

“I am thrilled that our Office’s first annual participatory budgeting process was an unqualified success with robust community engagement.” Council Member Julie Menin