Conditions at a decaying Queens school for special-needs students are even worse than thought, with lead paint found in 32 classrooms.
The just-released citywide test results showed PS 9, the Walter Reed School, in Maspeth, had the most peeling or deteriorating lead paint of any school in Queens.
The Department of Education said in late July that it had found only one room of two tested with lead paint. It then tested every room in the 116-year-old building, not just those used for kids younger than 6 as at other schools.
“The fact that this has a lot of lead adds insult to injury because these kids have a lot of hurdles in life,” said City Councilman Robert Holden, who represents the area and who has called for a new building for PS 9. “We should actually take away those hurdles. They should have even better facilities.”
Holden said he was ignored a year ago when he tried to sound the alarm about peeling paint, dust and other poor conditions.
Holden said his letter to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was ignored until The Post began publishing a series of reports on the school in July.
After The Post articles, the DOE then said it would sink another $16 million in improvements into the building on top of the $14 million it had already spent.
On Thursday, the DOE tweeted photos of Carranza visiting the school, looking up at ceilings and peering down at a radiator.
“Personally inspecting the improvements. A huge thank you to our crews for the great work,” Carranza tweeted.
The chancellor’s PR move was “beyond shameful that he would do that knowing full well that that building is not up to par,” Holden told The Post.
“We tested more rooms in PS 9 than any other school in Queens and they’ve all been remediated and cleared. This is a safe space for learning,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson.
The DOE said every classroom in the city that tested positive would be cleared of lead dust by the time school opens on Thursday.
The DOE has yet to test common areas such as hallways and auditoriums citywide.
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