After $2 million of reconstruction, and three-years of waiting, the students of P.S. 47 at 1794 E. 172 Street in Soundview will finally have a place to kick back and enjoy a good book.
On Friday, February 27, parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials like Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. came together to celebrate the new school library that includes 6,000 brand-new books, a smart board, a flat screen TV with D.V.D. player, six desktop computers, and six laptop computers.
The celebration came complete with an apple cider toast to the new library, which was donated by the Robin Hood Foundation – a charitable fund that fights poverty in New York City. The wood-paneled library with mural designs was also made possible through a gift from the Sternlicht Family Foundation.
“We are extremely pleased with the generosity of Robin Hood and the Sternlicht family in their most generous contribution to the children of the P.S. 47 community,” said Robert DiDio, assistant principal. “This library will ensure the academic success for the children of P.S. 47 for generations to come.”
A six-year veteran teacher at P.S. 47, who will assume the role of librarian at the school, wrote the grant that got the project started. Librarian Joanne Davis, who was able to go back to school at Syracuse University to receive a masters degree in library science thanks to the grant, said she felt the library would be of tremendous importance in the lives of the school’s children.
“A lot of our children don’t have money to go to bookstores like Barnes & Noble, and many of their parents can’t take them to the public library for different reasons, so this is really important,” Davis said. “This school went for almost ten years without a full-service library that included a licensed librarian.”
The celebration was complete with a thank-you to the Robin Hood Foundation and the Department of Education by the president of the student body at the school.
Richard Lewis, the architect for the libraries unique design – which includes a three-dimensional mural over the bookshelves and industrial-style chandelier lighting – was also on hand at the celebration.
“We have designed 10 different Robin Hood libraries – all of them with the same theme – but having different coloration and ornamental designs,” Lewis said.
Carl Raincourt, the project manager for the library, said it took almost five months to complete.