UPPER EAST SIDE — Several neighborhood schools and public housing sites are in the running to get much-needed upgrades — and locals get to choose which projects to fund this spring.
Councilman Ben Kallos has set aside $1 million in capital funds under the participatory budgeting program to go toward improvement projects on the Upper East Side. Starting Saturday, residents of District 5 who are 14 and older can vote on which ones should receive the money.
The projects on the ballot this year were all proposed by self-selected delegates who have assessed a need for them in the community, according to Kallos.
These are the projects up for a vote:
► $750,000 to renovate the auditorium at the Julia Richman Education Complex at 317 E. 67th St.
► $600,000 for a hydroponic lab to improve the STEM curriculum and green initiatives at P.S. 183, at 419 E. 66th St.
► $750,000 to renovate the auditorium at the Eleanor Roosevelt High School at 411 E. 76th St. The money would go toward extending the stage, fixing the sound and lighting systems, replacing seats and flooring to improve the view and capacity, and to add space for athletics.
► $500,000 for new playground equipment and to resurface the play area at P.S. 198 and P.S. 77 at 1700 Third Ave. The money would also be used to remove a diseased tree.
► $500,000 to renovate the music room at P.S. 77. The money would soundproof the room with new flooring, add storage for instruments and replace a sink.
► $500,000 toward adding a key fob electronic entry system for the lobbies of the Lexington Houses at Lexington Avenue, between East 98th and 99th streets.
► $500,000 for new playground equipment at the Lexington Houses' west playground.
► $500,000 toward adding a key fob electronic entry system for the lobbies of the Stanley Isaacs building at East 93rd Street and First Avenue.
► $500,000 for new security cameras to make it safer for the residents of the Holmes Towers, also located at East 93rd Street and First Avenue.
► $1 million to add irrigation to the East River Esplanade, from 90th to 96th streets.
► $350,000 to add northbound bus clocks to the M15 and M31 lines so that straphangers can see how long the wait is for the next bus.
Voting kicks off on March 25 and ends on April 2.
Residents can vote at Kallos' office at 244 E. 93rd St., or at multiple mobile polling sites across the neighborhood. A full list of voting locations and the times they'll be open can be found on the councilman’s website.
Starting this year, you can also vote online from March 25 through March 31.
“Participatory Budgeting is now more convenient than ever: you can vote online without ever leaving your home," Kallos said in a statement. “Whether you are interested in funding education, housing or parks, beginning March 25th you can make your voice heard by voting."