NYC scaffolding and sheds: Concern for parents

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The city's known as the concrete jungle. But it's also becoming known for the scaffolding that surrounds that concrete. If you lined up all of the sidewalk sheds in the city, they'd stretch to more than 340 miles.

No one knows that better than the parents at P.S. 333 on W. 93rd Street on the city's Upper West Side.

"It's an eyesore," said Gui Stampur, a parent of a son in kindergarten. "It's dangerous and it's really unfair."

It's a beautiful landmark school that was built 80 years ago, but you wouldn't know it by looking at it now. The entire building is covered in scaffolding, boards and netting.

"You really can't see a single inch of the school building itself," said Olivia Greer, who has two children who attend the school.

"It took a year and 46 days to build the Empire State building, it has taken over seven years to fix the roof and the facade, it's unacceptable," said Stampur.

They're not just concerned about how it looks. They're most concerned about safety.

"We hear terrifying stories of what happens in New York sometimes of bricks falling off of buildings and you've got 700 kids here," said Greer.

While the city does not have information available about how many buildings have scaffolding, it does track how many buildings have sidewalk sheds.

7 On Your Side Investigates found more than 9,000 buildings have sidewalk sheds in the New York City area.



"We want people to have this construction site moved as fast as possible," said Stampur.

The parents started an online petition, hoping to pressure those in charge of the repairs to work faster.

The School Construction Authority, which overseas public school projects, said they had issues with the original contractor and had to hire a new one.

SCA Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz sent a statement:

"The extensive and complex work of repairing exterior masonry, parapets and the roof of an 80-year old, landmarked building was compounded by issues with the original contractor. A new contractor has been brought in. Unfortunately, the added work of remediating and completing the project along with the temporary pause of all work due to COVID has added to the overall duration. We understand the urgency and impact on the school and are committed to completing this vital work by the latter end of next year."

Parents said the completion couldn't happen soon enough.

"We are worried for the safety of the students and the grownups who work here," said Greer.

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