Saturday, March 18, 2017
There’s been an extended ice age at this Manhattan public-school complex.
The hot-water system at the Park West Educational Campus — which houses five public high schools in Hell’s Kitchen — was knocked out during construction back in 2014, and it still hasn’t been restored, The Post has learned.
Tired of hand-washings that leave their fingers numb with cold and concerned over cleaning and cafeteria practices, some students have resorted to calling 311 themselves after complaints to administrators went nowhere.
The block-long West 50th Street complex — home to the Facing History School, the High School of Hospitality Management, the Urban Assembly School of Design and Management, Manhattan Bridges HS and Food and Finance HS — serves roughly 2,200 kids.
Adequate hot-water provision is required for all city schools, according to the city Department of Education.
“You press the cold tap down, and you get cold water,” said one student at Urban Assembly on Thursday. “You press the hot-water tap down, and you get cold water. It’s been like that forever.”
A student at Hospitality Management said she personally called 311 to report the issue.
“It’s just a basic thing,” she said. “But it matters to us as students, especially when it just gets ignored for so long.”
The hot-water outage has had an especially damaging impact on Food and Finance, a culinary school that also suffered through an extended gas outage before press coverage compelled the DOE to take action.
“It’s outrageous,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a Food and Finance booster. “I’m pretty sure private schools and suburban schools don’t have this problem. It needs to be addressed.”
A DOE spokesman said stopgap hot-water heaters have been placed throughout the building for the last three years, but students said they have been inadequate.
Teachers and staffers aren’t exempt from Park West’s ice age. Several told The Post on Thursday that most of the taps they encounter — from staff lounges to rest rooms — have been spitting out frigid water as long as they can remember.
“Things are going to break down,” said one clerical worker at Facing History HS. “But when it goes on for years like, this you sort of shake your head.”
A DOE spokesman said the department expects repair work to be completed by the end of June.