NEW YORK – On March 4, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined New York City Council Member Julie Menin and Principal Dimitri Saliani to cut the ribbon for the new $6.5 million gym at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (EHRS). The gym occupies the 6th floor of a new Pre-K Center at 355 East 76th Street built by the School Construction Authority (SCA) following advocacy from local elected officials and Eleanor Roosevelt High Schoolers who gathered more than 5,000 signatures as part of a petition to push the City to build a gym.
Eleanor Roosevelt High School is one of the top high schools in New York City and America with 500 current students from Community School District 2 and the surrounding city with representation from 40 different countries. The school was founded in 2002 after a neighborhood effort led by Congresswoman Maloney and a special taskforce advocating for the need of a new East Side High School. It is located in a school building without a gym despite boasting 12 varsity sports that participate in the Public School Athletics League including: boys football, girls flag football, girls and boys soccer, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys tennis, coed track, baseball, and softball. In June of 2017, Mayor de Blasio announced a $385 million plan for the Universal Physical Education Initiative. Following the announcement Congresswoman Maloney and Council Member Kallos immediately advocated for SCA to build gyms for schools on the Upper East Side that did not have a gym and needed one.
“I am so excited that Eleanor Roosevelt High Schoolers finally have a new gym, and I am thrilled to join Council Member Menin and Principal Saliani to cut the ribbon. I was proud to lead the effort to create the Eleanor Roosevelt High School, which has exceeded everyone’s expectations for the quality of education and the enthusiasm of students seeking admission. Up until now, ERHS has had everything except a gymnasium. Exercise and recreational play are critical to keeping students healthy and active, and it is incredibly important for every student to have the opportunity to take gym. I am pleased to hear that Council Member Kallos’ efforts to increase the number of gymnasiums in Upper East Side public schools, and leadership by EHRS students who organized a petition drive resulted in a new gym at Eleanor Roosevelt High School,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
“The waiting is over,” said Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright. “Eleanor Roosevelt High can now observe its 20th anniversary and fully celebrate with a new- and long overdue– gymnasium. Let’s go Raiders!”
“Physical education is absolutely imperative for students’ physical and mental wellbeing. With the construction of this new gymnasium, students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School will finally be able to have a dedicated space for athletic activities. No school should ever be without a gym. I want to thank the School Construction Authority for the allocation of $6.5 million dollars as well as the intense community advocacy which included a successful petition drive.” said Council Member Julie Menin, a member of the City Council Committee on Education.
“High school athletes at Eleanor Roosevelt have won citywide championships, all without having a gym. Now thanks to the leadership of these students, a petition signed by 5,000 people, and our Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, we’re here to open a new gym,” said former Council Member Ben Kallos who worked with Congresswoman Maloney to secure the $6 million and get the project started. “Thank you to Congresswoman Maloney for founding this school and continuing to support it all these years, to the School Construction Authority for getting it built, Councilwoman Julie Menin for getting this gym open so early in her term, Principal Dmitri Saliani whose been with the school since it started, and of course the past and present students of Eleanor Roosevelt High School.”
“Eleanor Roosevelt High School is proud to announce the opening of our new gym space. For the past 20 years the only indoor space for students to have PE activities has been in a dance studio on site. With this new gym, ERHS students can practice and play sports such as basketball and volleyball in an appropriate space. The entire school community and the community at large will benefit greatly from this additional space dedicated to athletics and physical fitness. We thank everyone involved, from our community advocates; our graduates and school staff, elected officials, and the SCA, which has made this a reality,” said Principal Saliani.