Potluck fare and sing-a-longs marked the opening of CES 102’s bright new library space and media center Monday, October 27. Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Councilwoman Annabel Palma teamed up to fund the renovation, each contributing $150,000 of capital budget money.
The project has made the school library, which all of the students must use, into a media center complete with much of the latest computer technology and plenty of brand new books thanks to a one-time book buying grant afforded the school due to the capital project.
“We had a dream,” said the school’s principal, T.R. Trezevantte. “We wanted the library to be a wonderland for children. Then we got Borough President Carrion and Councilwoman Palma to believe in our vision. Now it’s a reality.”
According the councilwoman’s Chief-of-Staff Yesenia Polanco, all 22 District 18 schools submit annual project proposals to Palma’s office. Carrion’s office also hears proposals. Minerva Aponte, a Fox Street native and CES 102’s librarian, pitched a particularly attractive idea last year.
“[Before] the library was a storage space,” she said. “There was a classroom next to it. I thought, why not tear out the wall and make a media center.”
Tracey Lobdell, a library design specialist with Nu-Tech Products, Inc. went to work. Down came the wall, out came the floor and off came the ceilings.
Now light hardwood bookshelves line the library, along with comfy benches. There are four Apple desktop computers and four new air conditioners. Aponte asked Lobdell to install a nature-themed mural featuring bears and insects as well.
The space will accommodate three classes at a time. There’s a reading area, a multimedia area and an instructional area. Soon
“We’ve invested almost $25 million in projects like this – computer labs, science labs, libraries,” said Carrion.
“Because you want to add value to the space where kids learn. A book will take you anywhere you want to go. We have to teach our kids to make that connection.”