Two science labs updated at Aviation H.S.

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Two science laboratories in Aviation High School in Long Island City got their first renovation - in almost a half century - thanks to $1 million from the city’s capital and construction funds.
The changes were long overdue because the labs were not equipped with running water, gas or chemicals that the students needed to take the New York State regents exams.
Other parts of the school, however, including the airplane hangar where students construct and repair airplane engines, were equipped with high-tech gear, and many students earn their pilot’s license while attending Aviation.
“The lab was only equipped for shoebox labs. My students really needed to be able to have hands-on experience,” said Aviation Principal Eileen Taylor.
Taylor said that originally, only $500,000 was secured from capital funds to construct one lab, but she petitioned the Region 4 School District to remodel the second lab as well, and they matched the funds with cooperation from the New York City School Construction Authority.
“There was no sense ripping up the floor only to do it again the following year,” she said.
“If you only have one lab, only the students who can fit into the lab can take the classes,” Taylor said, explaining that all students are required to take science, and a lab is part of the curriculum.
At the labs’ unveiling last week, a sea of smiling faces greeted Councilman Eric Gioia and Sam Vargas, a representative from Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan’s office.
“This investment empowers a new generation with the tools and resources they need to fulfill their dreams,” Gioia said.
Both politicians pushed for the funds to be distributed to Aviation so that the labs could be completed amidst the budget battles in March. Pressured by City politicians, the State Assembly worked out a deal enabling the City to build and repair schools with funds provided by a new $11.2 billion bond program that the State will fully guarantee.