FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Millennium High School reopened its doors on Monday for the first time since Hurricane Sandy struck last month, to the relief of students who were eager to return to their own classrooms.
“It feels really good to be back,” said Diana Rubio, 17, a senior, as she entered the building at 75 Broad Street Monday morning.
Millennium is one of 57 public schools across the city that were heavily damaged by floods during the Oct. 28 super storm, prompting the Department of Education to temporarily co-locate them in other schools' buildings. As of Monday, 14 city schools remain closed, according to the DOE, with some 6,100 students still attending class in temporary locations.
On Monday morning, Millennium had power and heat but no Internet, according to Parent Association president Tara Silberberg, who was directing students to the school’s temporary entrance. The regular entrance, on Williams Street, is closed due to ongoing construction on the block.
“This whole street was just like a river,” Silberberg said of the day after the storm.
Parents were relieved to find two of the buildings’ three elevators working Monday morning, she said, since they’d been out of service just the night before. The school is located on the 11th, 12th, and 13th floors of the building.
“As of last night at 8[p.m.], it wasn’t on, so when we got here this morning it was a big surprise,” Silberberg said, saying they’d planned to have students trek up the stairs to get to their classes.
Many parents were frustrated by how long it took to get the building back up and running, she added. Power was still out last week, she said, and the Parents Association had a “very loud meeting” with school officials to put pressure on them to quicken repairs.
“Apparently, parent pressure works,” she said.
For the last month, Millennium’s 9th and 10th grade students have been attending classes at PS 184, the Shuang Wen School on the Lower East Side, while 11th and 12th graders were placed at University Neighborhood High School.
Silberberg said both schools were “wonderful hosts,” but some students said the co-location was hectic.
“It was really uncomfortable,” Rubio said. “They had to modify their schedules, we had to modify our schedules, and the classrooms were really cramped.”
Anna Wu, a 16-year-old sophomore, said she’s happy to get back into the building for the first time in over four weeks just so she can collect the personal items and class notes she left in her locker.
“All my stuff is up there,” she said. “We have a lot of tests coming up.”