NEW YORK – The High School of Fashion Industries will finally be able to reclaim its beautiful, Works Progress Administration-era auditorium from ‘brutal’ summer temperatures, thanks to a $620,000 capital allocation from Borough President Gale A. Brewer fully funding installation of an air conditioning system.
Brewer announced today that the funding will be included in the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 city budget. The news coincides with her visit to the school with Mayor Bill de Blasio this afternoon to greet students and parents and celebrate the mayor’s commitment to fund air conditioners for every public school classroom by 2022.
“This school was built before air conditioning existed, but in the 21st century there’s just no reason our school spaces should be stiflingly hot for months out of the year,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “A school’s auditorium is an essential space both for students and for the neighborhood, so it needs to be usable year-round. Just like I keep saying the arts aren’t optional, spaces for the arts, performances, assemblies, town halls, and community events aren’t optional either.”
“I’m thrilled that Borough President Brewer is committing funding to put air conditioning in the auditorium at the High School of Fashion Industries,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This funding, coupled with the city’s promise to put air conditioners in every classroom, will help ensure students can learn in a safe, comfortable environment.”
“We applaud the Borough President’s commitment to funding for air conditioning in the auditorium at this school,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Along with the City’s commitment to install air conditioning in every classroom, this funding will ensure that students at Fashion High School are able to learn in a safe and comfortable environment and take full advantage of all the exciting programming their building has to offer, even during the summer months.”
“We have the largest school auditorium in Manhattan, but for months at a time it’s intolerably hot,” said High School of Fashion Industries Principal Daryl Blank. “I’m thrilled that our students and the broader community will all finally be able to enjoy and use this beautiful space year-round.”
The High School of Fashion Industries’ auditorium is Manhattan’s largest high school auditorium, seating approximately 1,200. The space is lined with original murals depicting the American immigrant experience, dating back to the school’s construction during the New Deal.
In addition to serving the traditional functions of any school’s auditorium, the space is a venue for showcases of Fashion Industries students’ design and production work. The auditorium also functions as a graduation venue for multiple Manhattan public schools and as a public meeting space.