Friday, January 22, 2010

Many Manhattan schools have open code violations

From the NY Times:

More than one third of Manhattan’s public school buildings have hazardous code violations, including many that have gone unresolved for years, threatening the safety of children and teachers, according to a report by the Manhattan borough president’s office.

The report, to be released Thursday, offers a cutting assessment of the New York City Buildings Department, the much-maligned agency responsible for building safety, which has been stung by charges of corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency.

In addition to the backlog at schools, the study found open violations at the borough’s public hospitals and estimated that nearly a third of all buildings in Manhattan have at least one open violation classified as “hazardous” or “Class 1,” meaning they pose a “threat that severely affects life, health, safety, property, public interest or persons so as to warrant immediate corrective action.”

Even if the problem has been corrected, a violation can still be listed as open if the fine has not been paid or if the necessary paperwork has not been filed.

Using a random sample of more than 2,200 violations, the researchers found that infractions classified as Class 1 or hazardous had been open an average of 1,829 days — nearly five years. The sample also estimated that building owners owe the city $60 million in uncollected penalties.

“I would classify this as a crisis that is happening right before our eyes,” said Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. “You have a quarter of a million open violations. You can’t trust the system because there’s no transparency or accountability.”

4 comments:

primadonna said...

I wonder if all the white stuff falling out of the ceiling in my classroom years ago was hazardous to my health.
If I get cancer, who can I sue? Joel Klein?

Lino said...

Depends in part on what the ceiling was made of.

In many pre 70s buildings with acoustic plaster there was/is a constituent element of asbestos.

Older pipe insulation has it too.

One of the biggest sources of asbestos in in you auditorium. IF it has an approved stage and a fire curtain that has not been changed to Zetex it will be approx 80% asbestos and you act curtain rub against it every time it is used.

Then there is the issue of vinyl-asbestos floor tile. These are mostly black or brown with speckles. Not too much issue here -unless- they get buffed and you see a "cloud".

Hopefully you live a long healthy life...now there is the issue of chalk dust....

Regards, Lino

Anonymous said...

Close 'em all!

Anonymous said...

In the Queens county housing court,the HPD court room, has a busted door with a sign taped to it Use Other Door.

what a message this hand lettered sign sends to tenants seeking repairs and essential services.

Many of the judges, clerks and other court employees have constant colds, sinus problems, coughs, etc. You would think that a employee would start looking into the defective ventilation system that impacts on those people who are there day in day out.

I will not be surprised to read in the papers about the connection between cancers, asthma, respiratory illness and that building.