• Innovation: Yonkers Schools First in Nation to Leverage Public-Private Partnerships to Fix Crumbling Schools

  • APRIL 03, 2012 | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GOVERNMENT REFORM, INFRASTRUCTURE, REAL ESTATE

  • An Unprecedented $1.7 Billion Restoration Project for the 40 Yonkers Public Schools

  • With a crumbling infrastructure and the oldest school buildings in New York State, Yonkers Public School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio knew he needed to do something drastic to right years of neglect in his schools...


    Springtime at Roosevelt High School

    ...At a private meeting in March with the Westchester County Association (WCA), Pierorazio detailed the district's plans to form a public private partnership to fund the rehabilitation of the city's 40 public school facilities.   

    "We applaud Yonkers Public School's innovative approach to financing the rehabilitation of its facilities by exploring public-private partnerships," says Marissa Brett, Executive Director of Economic Development for the Westchester County Association. Working collaboratively with private business is a cornerstone of The Blueprint for Westchester, WCA's multi-million dollar economic development plan.

    The district has selected the team of Macquarie Capital, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, LLP, and URS Corporation as financial, legal and technical advisors for the public-private partnership (P3) project, and will lean on the team of advisors to assess the plan's feasibility. 

    The Yonkers Public School project will be the first social infrastructure P3 for a public school district in the nation and includes the implementation of the $1.7 billion Educational Facilities Plan to address repairs at all 40 of its facilities. 

    “Maintaining and rebuilding our infrastructure are District priorities, but funding has been unavailable as we continue to struggle against cuts that have decimated staff and programs,” explains Superintendent Pierorazio. “The P3 transaction provides a highly innovative solution to the District’s capital improvement needs to provide our students and staff with the safe, healthy and functional 21st century educational environments that they deserve.”

    Yonkers’ school buildings are the oldest in New York State. The average building is 73 years old and 95 percent have been rated “Unsatisfactory” under state-mandated guidelines. Past capital plans, and inadequate funding, have not been able to revive the District’s deteriorating buildings. 

    “Only in this way can education continue to command the absolute full attention of our community,” said Superintendent Pierorazio. “For as education goes, so does the city of Yonkers.”

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