Today, Borough President James S. Oddo joined District 31 Deputy Superintendent Christine Chavez, P.S. 45 Principal Nicole Vega, staff and students at P.S. 45, officials from the School Construction Authority and the families of Captain John R. Fischer and Firefighter Michael C. Fiore for the groundbreaking of the school’s playground. The funds allocated from the Borough President will replace and paint the asphalt, buy new equipment and create a new basketball court.
Both Fischer and Fiore died in the tragedy on September 11th 2001 sacrificing their lives in the line of duty. They both grew up in the West Brighton neighborhood and played at the P.S. 45 playground when they were kids, eventually raising their own families in the same community. A plaque with their names was replaced in 2019, but a new playground in their honor is expected to be completed in November 2022.
This project was initially funded in Fiscal Year 2019 but the school’s boiler broke and had to be replaced, making the playground a staging area until that project was complete. In addition, the delay in the project caused construction prices to rise, necessitating the need for additional funding, which was allocated over a few years to ensure the playground would be built.
“We are thrilled to be able to fund a brand new playground that is worthy to bear the names of the two heroes - Captain John R. Fischer and Firefighter Michael C. Fiore. While it was a long road to get to this point, this is another important day that puts the kids first, providing yet another place of recreation for students and the entire community,” said Borough President Oddo. “I want to thank my partners at the DOE, the SCA, and the school for bringing this to life. However, I also want to extend my deepest gratitude to the Fischer and Fiore families who are in attendance today. I encourage parents who bring their children to this playground to share the stories of Captain Fischer and Firefighter Fiore and help their legacy live on with the memories made at this playground.”
“What an amazing day for our students and the community. This day celebrates the beginning of making new memories,” said P.S. 45 Principal Nicole Vega. “The scholars of P.S. 45 have been asking for a new schoolyard for many years, and thanks to Borough President Oddo, their dream will be coming true.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to actually have this groundbreaking today because the community and the students really use the schoolyard. The schoolyard is an integral part of this community - with the children at recess, morning line-up, at dismissal and on weekends and on holidays, it’s filled with children and laughter,” said District 31 Deputy Superintendent Christine Chavez and former P.S. 45 principal. “Not only does it serve as a space for children to meet new classmates and new friends, but it's a place for community members to connect with the school community and to grow stronger and better together.”