- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2005


NEW YORK — A private developer has built a New York City public-school annex designed to accommodate 200 students, at a cost of $2.5 million.

Ron Hershco began building homes eight years ago in Queens and discovered Public School 43 in Far Rockaway had 1,400 students enrolled. The school was built in 1996 to hold 1,200 pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade students.

“I figured that if I’m not going to do something, this whole place will be overwhelmed, because I’m bringing in 300 families,” he told the New York Times. “I make my living in the area, so at least I could do something for the community. There was no other way for me to give back.”

New York City sometimes requires developers to help pay for school construction, but Hershco’s offer to build an annex and pay for it entirely himself was a first in recent memory, said Margie Feinberg, spokeswoman for the city Department of Education.

Mr. Hershco said he was glad he helped alleviate some of the overcrowding, but he doesn’t plan to build another school building anytime soon — because it is “very exhausting.”

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