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Park Slope students celebrate new bathroom

January 24, 2013 2:26:19 PM PST
A ribbon cutting may not be the usual way to open a renovated bathroom, but at P.S. 124 in Park Slope, it was a reason to celebrate.

"It's like winning the lottery. It sure is. We're very happy to have these brand new bathrooms for the children," said Annabell Martinez, P.S. 124 Principal.

The work was paid for through so-called "participatory budgeting", which allowed Park Slope residents to vote on how some city funds for their neighborhood should be spent.

"It makes me feel great for the kids because they have a lot more space, more bathroom so you don't have to take turns and shove each other," said Jordan Lett, a P.S. 124 student.

Eyewitness News was there last October to report on the fact that although funds had been approved, the renovation work on these bathrooms had not yet been done, and back then, the sight of these rooms couldn't have been more different.

The school building is 112 years old.

The fixtures in the boys' bathroom were sized for much older children than those in the grade school, which made hand washing and other uses a real challenge.

The girls' bathroom had no doors on the stalls, making privacy impossible.

A radiator right next to the last stall was so hot in winter, the stall could not be used.

"The floor in the corner, it was all rusty and all cracked on the floor," said Samantha Smith, a P.S. 124 student.

Following Eyewitness News' October report, the open-ended timetable for renovations became much shorter.

"It's a celebration of dignity for our school kids and grass roots democracy for the community," City Councilmember Brad Lander said.

"Now it's all bright and clean, and the children are afforded privacy they absolutely deserve and must have, and everything is child size," Martinez said.

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