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Millennium High School Wins $400K Grant to Renovate Gym Space

By Julie Shapiro | June 21, 2012 10:05am
Millennium High School's multipurpose room is getting a facelift.
Millennium High School's multipurpose room is getting a facelift.
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Millennium High School

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Millennium High School is finally getting much-needed improvements to the space it uses for gym classes.

Thanks to a $400,000 grant from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Millennium's worn-out multipurpose room will soon get a top-to-bottom renovation, including new wood sprung floors and padded panels for the walls, Silver and the school announced this week.

The money will also cover new elliptical machines, treadmills and other exercise equipment, along with a protected audio-visual system for the multipurpose room, the school said.

"We're very happy," said Angela Benfield, Millennium's parent coordinator, whose son is in 10th grade at the school. "[The multipurpose room] is pretty shot now from students using it for physical education classes. The walls are all banged up."

Parents and students at Millennium fought for years to get a real full-size gym for their 75 Broad St. school, but the city denied the request last year, saying it would be too expensive. That's when the Millennium Parents' Association began advocating for improvements to the school's existing gym space instead.

Millennium students currently split their gym time between the L-shaped multipurpose room on the school's ground floor, which is too small for most team sports, and a room of exercise machines that are mostly outdated, parents said.

Tara Silberberg, co-president of Millennium Parents' Association, said the renovations will make the multipurpose room more suitable for activities like yoga and Pilates.

"It's a great solution," Silberberg said. "Everybody really needs to exercise, not only for their physical health but also for their mental health."

The school has not yet set a timeline for the work, but it will depend on when the money is available and when the city is able to do the construction, parents said.

Silver said in a statement that he was glad to help Millennium improve its gym space.

"Millennium has long sought new space to give its students the high-quality physical education they need and with this funding, we are finally able to do that," Silver said.