Men in plastic suits with attached, duct-taped booties hauled waterlogged cafeteria tables and chairs into a trash compactor at Bard, a selective high school east of Avenue D on Houston Street. Piles of gymnasium mats sat drying in the sun as a trail of brown water ran down the street. The maintenance crew said no administrators were around and no one was able to speak to the press but one man hauling trash with a face mask told us there was still water in the school. [See our slideshow of photos from Monday morning at PS 126 and Bard here.]
Bard's 600-plus students will report to their sister school in Queens on Wednesday. Valerie Kaplan, parent coordinator at Bard Early College High School in Queens, which also has about 600 students, said the new students will be welcome. "We will certainly open our doors to them," Kaplan told Insideschools.
Other Lower East Side schools such as PS 188, two blocks west of Bard on Houston street, were not damaged by the superstorm and able to reopen this morning, after a week of no school. Students and parents were greeted with photocopied signs taped to the school gate in English and Spanish: "School is open Monday, November 5." A few more blocks west on Houston Street, at Nest+M, children played during recess in the school's courtyard.
Further downtown, at PS 126, in a low-lying area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, a sign taped to the door announced that school was closed Monday and Tuesday and parents should check the school's website, http://www.ps126mat.com/, for more information.
A maintenance man at PS 126 told Insideschools that the water that was standing in the school has been removed and now they're just trying to sort out electrical issues and waiting for the heat to return.
Outside, downed tree limbs were piled up on the side of the school. The statue in the adjacent park stood in a pile of litter -- discarded water bottle boxes. Across the street, at the Knickerboxer Houses, generator-powered water pumps drained into the street and NYPD mobile lighting units stood by, ready for an eighth night without electricity.
Joe Chau, who said he had two children enrolled at PS 126, stopped by the school to read the sign on the door. He said the Department of Education emailed him on Sunday to say the school would remain closed Monday. Not yet sure where students will go on Wednesday, the principal told him to check back at the school for more updates, which will be posted on the front door.
PS 126's website says IF there is heat, the school will be open on Wednesday. If not, it lists other neighborhood schools where children may be asked to report.
Click the image below to see our slideshow of photos of PS 126 and Bard from Monday morning: