Bronx public schools will receive $9.9 million for technology upgrades and physical improvements, according to the office of the Bronx borough president, which unveiled its 2022 budget today. The announcement comes as many South Bronx students are still without laptops and tablets ahead of the 2021-2022 school year.
In all, the budget calls for more than $35 million for 130 total projects across the borough, with upgrades to parks, healthcare and cultural facilities, and the creation of over 900 units of new housing. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he is focused on recapturing the momentum the Bronx was experiencing prior to the pandemic, with education a top priority after the pandemic exposed inequities.
Nearly 100 educational projects will receive funding Bronxwide, with park upgrades, healthcare technology, improvements to cultural facilities, the creation of over 900 units of new housing, as well as the redesign and redevelopment of Orchard Beach and the design of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Hostos Community College received the largest amount among South Bronx schools and colleges, with $1 million for renovations and upgrades. Mott Haven schools PS 277 and IS 584 will receive $50,000 each for Chrome books. The digital divide has been a major issue for families, as Diaz Jr. said the need for laptops was still at tens of thousands as of March 2021.
Housing upgrades at OUB Housing Company on Brook Avenue will include $500,000 for elevator repairs. Additionally, 40 new affordable housing units will be built in Mott Haven, with $650,000 for South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, SoBRO, for the construction of SENDA Apartments and a new sanctuary for Senda de Bendición Church.
In addition to housing and education, arts and culture institutions in the South Bronx are prioritized in the new budget, including the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which is slated to receive more than 10 percent of the entire annual allocation, $3.7 million, for equipment, fabrication and design. The museum is set to open in 2024 and is part of the $349 million development called Bronx Point in Melrose.
The Bronx Museum of Arts will also benefit, with $400,000 for renovations, and Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater on Walton Avenue will get $300,000 for major renovations.
In Hunts Point, the Peninsula housing complex with more than 700 apartments that will be built on the site of a former juvenile jail at 765 Manida Street, will receive $500,000.
Here’s the list of recipients and the amounts each can expect.