Gale Brewer Secures Nearly $16M for Upper West Side Nonprofits, Schools
By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A revamped roof for the American Museum of Natural History and a new river overlook for Riverside Park are among the neighborhood upgrades that will be funded in this year’s city budget, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer’s office announced.
Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, set aside nearly $16 million in the 2012 city budget for construction and renovation projects that will benefit local groups.
Nonprofits, community organizations and schools submitted requests to Brewer’s office for the funding, which are handed out yearly as part of the budget process.
Brewer pointed to a project at Riverside Park as one that’s near and dear to her heart. The park will receive $1.2 million to transform an unused parking lot into a landscaped overlook on the Hudson River with a new building and public restroom.
“I’m a big fan of Riverside Park,” Brewer said. “That’s one I try to do every year. It’s got a huge amount of users, but it doesn’t have the dollars that Central Park has. It’s kind of like our neighborhood park.”
Schools also benefited from the budget allocations, with Brewer setting aside money for an auditorium upgrade at the Brandeis Educational Campus, a computer network upgrade at Beacon High School, a technology lab at the Frank McCourt High School, and a new library media center at LaGuardia High School, among other projects.
In addition to funding for capital projects, dozens of youth and senior-focused nonprofits received funding for operating expenses. “When you’re working on the ground like we are, you see the need,” Brewer said. “It’s never enough [money]. It’s meaningful to me.”
That money will help organizations suchs as the nonprofit DOROT help seniors fight bedbug problems, Brewer said. “We’re on the ground, so we see the need,” Brewer said. “It’s meaningful to me.”