Press Release Article

RECORD $30 MILLION SCHOOL SOUNDPROOFING PROGRAM APPROVED BY PORT AUTHORITY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS -- Program Calls for Soundproofing projects at 33 Schools Affected by Aircraft Noise

Date: Feb 22, 2001
Press Release Number: 24-2001

A record $30 million to provide quieter classrooms in 33 schools in New York and New Jersey has been authorized by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, under a proposal to help soundproof schools affected by noise from aircraft using the region\'s airports.
Funding was approved for 21 New York schools affected by noise from aircraft using John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, and 12 New Jersey schools affected by noise from aircraft using Newark International and Teterboro airports. It is the largest number of schools to be authorized for school soundproofing funds in a single year.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, \"It is extremely important that children who attend school around our New York airports be provided with an environment that is conducive to good learning. This soundproofing program will help ensure that these children are not distracted from their studies by sounds from noisy aircraft.\"

\"Acting New Jersey Governor Donald DiFrancesco said, \"Our students need an environment that allows them to learn. I applaud the Port Authority for taking this action to ensure that airport noise is not adversely affecting their studies. Certainly, the airports play an important role in the economic life of New Jersey. This however should not impair the learning of New Jersey students.\"

Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg said, \"This expenditure continues the commitment we began in 1983 to make sure students have a quiet learning environment. During this time, the Board has committed a total of $150 million toward soundproofing at more than 75 schools in New York and New Jersey.\"

William R. DeCota, the Port Authority\'s Director of Aviation, said, \"We want to be good neighbors with the communities that surround our airports, and this funding will ensure that school children have the proper atmosphere needed to learn.

\"Soundproofing has been proven to cut classroom noise levels in half and will reduce the school\'s energy costs through the installation of new ventilation systems and acoustical windows,\" Mr. DeCota added.

The 2001 soundproofing program includes authorization to begin soundproofing three Queens, N.Y. schools - the College of Aeronautics, the Lexington School for the Deaf and St. Athanasius. Oscar P. Cohen, Superintendent of the Lexington School for the Deaf, was elated when informed his school was chosen for soundproofing, saying it would greatly improve his students\' ability to learn.

\"Profoundly hearing impaired children require a soundproof environment to develop their very limited residual hearing capacity,\" Superintendent Cohen said. \"Optimizing residual hearing in the hearing impaired is crucial to developing communication and language skills. Because hearing aids amplify all sounds, deaf children are placed at a significant disadvantage when learning in a noise-filled environment. Lexington\'s student development of residual hearing, academic and speech learning will be significantly enhanced through the Port Authority\'s approval.\"

The Port Authority\'s program also includes funding for continued soundproofing work at 30 schools.

The Board\'s authorization is contingent on the continuing availability of federal funds. The soundproofing program is a joint effort of the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, which contributes up to 80 percent of the funding under its Airport Improvement Program. The Port Authority administers the program and provides the balance of the funding. Each of the schools meets eligibility criteria set by the FAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Port Authority has been recognized for decades as a leader in the aviation industry in reducing aircraft noise. The agency was one of the first airport operators in the nation to lobby the FAA to require quieter \"Stage 3\" aircraft. And the Port Authority has been lobbying the FAA for years to mandate \"Stage 4\" aircraft that will be even quieter.

A complete list follows of the 33 schools in the 2001 school soundproofing program and the money authorized to be spent at each of them.

College of Aeronautics, Queens, N.Y., $500,000 Lexington School for the Deaf, Queens, N.Y, $800,000 St. Athanasius, Queens, N.Y., $300,000 Kearny High School, Kearny, N.J., $700,000 Lincoln Elementary School, Kearny, N.J., $600,000 Sacred Heart School, Kearny, N.J., $600,000 St. Stephen School, Kearny, N.J., $300,000 Beach Channel High School, Queens, N.Y., $900,000 Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaway, Queens, N.Y., $200,000 IS 180, Queens, N.Y., $500,000 IS 198, Queens, N.Y., $1 million St. Joachim School, Cedarhurst, N.Y., $900,000 John Bowne High School, Queens, N.Y., $500,000 P.S. 5, Bronx, N.Y., $500,000 S. Gompers Vocational High School, Bronx, N.Y., $500,000 St. Anselm School, Bronx, N.Y., $500,000 Bergen County Vocational High School, Teterboro, N.J., $500,000 Jackson Avenue School, Hackensack, N.J. $500,000 St. Francis School, Hackensack, N.J., $500,000 East Side High School, Newark, N.J., $1.2 million McKinley School, Newark, N.J., $1 million St. Casimir School, Newark, N.J., $1.7 million St. Cecilia School, Newark, N.J., $1 million Lawrence No. 2 School, Far Rockaway, $1.5 million P.S. 146, Queens, N.Y., $3.2 million P.S. 195, Queens, N.Y., $2.5 million St. Pius X School, Queens, N.Y., $600,000 Tapeinu School, Far Rockaway, Queens, N.Y., $500,000 Msgr. McClancy High School, Queens, N.Y., $1 million P.S. 146, Bronx, N.Y., $3.2 million St. Michael School, Flushing, N.Y., $1 million St. Pius V School, Bronx, N.Y., $500,000 Memorial School, South Hackensack, N.J., $300,000

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