A Staten Island public elementary school is getting more than $1 million dollars in federal emergency funding to help cover repairs made to the school after Hurricane Sandy, but that is only a drop in the bucket considering what needs to be done. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Principle Jane McCord greets students at P.S. 52 every morning.
As they make their way in, they have to hop over broken concrete, damage left over from Hurricane Sandy.
"I never anticipated that I'd be 15 months out with plans still not on the table," McCord said.
Hurricane Sandy devastated the building.
"I was here the following morning, and we opened the door to the basement, and you couldn't go down," McCord said. "The water came up to the second step."
The school's boiler, electrical, ventilation, hot water and telephone systems were all destroyed. Students were forced to relocate to the Petrides School for about a month.
Since the storm, the student population has dropped by about 75.
"Many of our families moved away and haven't been able to return," McCord said. "Some still hope to return."
The school has a new ventilation and electrical system, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the boiler is temporary, and the hot water heater is much smaller than what was there before.
"We still have the impact of the uneven temperature through the building, of the boiler turns on and off all day creating noise while the children are working in their rooms," McCord said.
The temporary boiler had to be put out in the school yard, so during recess, students can use only about one-quarter of their play area with no access to basketball hoops.
"The children that were in kindergarten last year will likely not be able to go outside and play in the regular school yard till fourth grade or so," McCord said.
Parents say that fully repairing the school is taking too long.
"Since the hurricane, there are still many repairs that have to be taken care of," said one parent. "So yes, the school needs money."
"Of course, it's going to take time, although it has been a year now," said another.
"It probably should have been done a little faster, but it takes time," said a third.
There's no estimate yet of the total cost of repairs, so as the city's office of Management and Budget negotiates with FEMA, the students will just have to wait.