CHELSEA — A fashion-centric high school that’s been dealing with “unbearable” heat during the warmer months is about to get relief.
All of the classrooms at the High School of Fashion Industries on West 24th Street will have air conditioning by the fall as part of a plan to install AC units in every classroom throughout the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an event at the school Wednesday.
The city will also install air conditioning in the school's auditorium with $620,000 in funding from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office, she announced at the event.
In January, the school — which offers fashion, merchandising and illustration classes along with standard academic courses — launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the installation of air-conditioning units in the nearly 70 classrooms that don't have them.
The school was able to reach its goal and purchase AC units for around 40 of the classrooms, but it still needed funding for around 30 more, Principal Daryl Blank said Thursday.
Now, the city will pick up where the school left off, he said.
"We're ecstatic," Blank said. "Just the combination between the classrooms and the auditoriums is really a game changer."
At Wednesday's event, the mayor, Brewer and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña spoke with Fashion Industries students about it was like to work on sewing machines in classrooms without air conditioning.
“They all said immediately how, not only was it hot and uncomfortable and sweaty, but they said the machines make it hotter, a lot of people in the room made it hotter, so they said it was really difficult,” de Blasio said.
Maya Scott, one of the students who spoke with the mayor, said she was excited about the upgrades.
Though the 17-year-old senior won’t get to experience cooler classrooms, she said the fundraiser brought her classmates together as they worked to promote the campaign.
Students advertised the GoFundMe page online and posted fliers at coffee shops around the neighborhood, she said.
“I think it’s great. We’ve experienced four years of hot summer, hot everything,” she said. “And we didn’t only gain air conditioners — we gained a bond.”