Empty trailers force students into the streets

The schoolyard of M.S. 144 that contains trailers and signs once used for Sports Professions High School, despite their relocation to another facility. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

For the past two years, M.S. 144, located on 2545 Gunther Avenue, between Mace and Allerton avenues, had its schoolyard covered with trailers dedicated to the students of Sports Professions High School.

This year the high school relocated to E. 217th Street, but the appearance of the schoolyard would imply otherwise. The trailers and sign along the fence declaring the location as Sports Professions High School are still present.

“Those trailers will be gone by the end of the year and the park will be reconstructed back to what it was,” said district manager of community board 11 John Fratta.

According to Fratta, the School Construction Authority has already approved plans to return the schoolyard to its former condition, giving the students back a safe area for play and recreation.

“Sports Profession High School had summer school until August, and the sign has not been removed yet, but we understand that by the spring of this year we will hopefully have our schoolyard back,” said M.S. 144 principal Katina Lotakis.

“From what I understand we will also be getting it back brand new, refurbished to look like before.”

While the high school students were present in the trailers, Gunther Avenue was closed down to traffic, for the students of M.S. 144 to take their recess, creating both an uncomfortable environment for students, and an inconvenience to residents of the area.

“Originally the trailers were supposed to be gone by September, but the city had to go through the contracting process,” said Fratta, “but the Department of Education has assured us they will be gone by the end of the year.”

Lotakis explained that while her students would love to have their areas for baseball and basketball back, the student body is handling the situation very well, and while Sports Profession High School was present they maintained a good relationship with one another.

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