J'Nelle AgeeOct 16, 2017, 10:48 pmOct 16, 2017, 10:50 pm

New Hempstead school being monitored following series of health code violations

Officials say the school was sourcing its drinking water from a hose

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NEW HEMPSTEAD — A school in Rockland County is facing heightened scrutiny from officials after being cited for a series of code violations that allegedly threatened the safety of hundreds of students.

In September, officials found that the Summit Road School was in violation of the state’s drinking water laws, according to Acting Director of Environment Health Sam Rulli.

"We simply want to have a safe place for children to be and to learn," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said.

County leaders are calling on New Hempstead officials and leaders from the Summit Road School to adhere to and update safety and health codes for nearly 400 students.

"A school with drinkable water, not water coming out of a garden hose from an unapproved well. A school with a working electrical system that comes from utility not from an extension cord right through a residence," Day said.

Day says both children and parents are victims of the private school’s ongoing health violations. He added that findings from health inspectors are at the lower end of acceptable.

"These are the victims, their education has been disrupted and their safety has been compromised,” Day said.

County health officials say the school has brought in a water tanker to supply the students with clean drinking water.

Firefighters from the Hillcrest Fire Company say they found the school hydrant, located on the property, was in violation of the fire code and a danger to staff and students.

“Where else could you have a school with no permanent source of water, no certified electricity and a fake fire hydrant?" Day said.

Parents say the school obtained the certificate of occupancy from the town to operate and has been following the direction of the town officials.

"From the parents' standpoint, I think we feel that it is very much unfounded and that the school is doing everything that they can to do everything up to code which is why it was opened in the first place," parent Riki Greenberg said.

Parents say there is no confirmed date for the students to return back to school but students say they're excited and hope to go back within the week.

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