School Façade Collapses – Major Repair Effort Underway


Wednesday, May 22 seemed like any other day in Bnos Bais Yaakov of Far Rockaway, as hundreds of happy, enthusiastic students entered the building. Teachers relayed timeless messages with their usual passion. Smiling girls studied chumash, navi, and parashah, played jump rope and machanayim, and chatted with friends.

Then suddenly, without warning, the serene school day was interrupted by a resounding vibration, as a significant portion of the school building’s brick façade became disengaged from the main structure. Students jumped in alarm, and were directed to the lunchroom for an impromptu assembly. Under the guidance of construction professionals, the school was forced to immediately stage a controlled collapse, while implementing extreme precautions to ensure that everyone remained safe.

After the collapse, a team of engineers commissioned by the school evaluated the extent of the damage the cause of the collapse and the steps necessary to rehabilitate the building. Though they gave clearance for the building to remain in use temporarily, these professionals advised that the school must immediately replace the entire façade since there are similar faults throughout the entire brick face and signs of significant deterioration. This project will cost the school over 1.2 million dollars.

Without these funds, the school cannot commence this critical project. The situation is urgent. To hundreds of students, Bnos Bais Yaakov is more than just a school; it is a home away from home. Students and teachers arrive each day excited and eager to learn and grow. It is unthinkable to continue operating under these conditions and we cannot turn our students down. To raise the vital funds necessary, BBY has initiated a bricks and mortar emergency campaign. Through the generosity of Klal Yisrael, and with the help of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, the school will be”H open its doors as scheduled.

This is a serious safety concern for the hundreds of students and faculty that will be arriving at school in just a few weeks.

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  1. It seems that either the contractor who built the building was greedy and tried to save some money, or he wasn’t watching his crew who didn’t know what they were doing.

    Can’t the school sue the contractor? What’s the statute of limitations in this case? It just seems wrong that the school or the community should need to foot the bill for this.

  2. Well even if the school can sue, it seems like they want the money ASAP so they can fix the facade right away, and suing usually takes a long time.