Feb. 9, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Residents living near PS 343 in Sunnyside have had to endure a blaring, high-pitched tone emanating from the roof of the school for weeks in a quality of life problem that the city has at last resolved.
The deafening ringing-sound from the school, located at 45-45 42nd St. prompted a resident to create a URL—www.SunnysideNoise.org–that links to a YouTube page showing a series of videos near the school where the noise can be heard loud and clear. The six videos were recorded through the month of January.
“This has been mind-numbing and ear-splitting,” reads a comment left a week ago on one of the videos.
Another comment compares the noise to “a subtle form of psychological torture.”
Margaret Kiernan, a 69-year-old resident of the six-story apartment building next to the school, says the sound began as early as 5:30 a.m. at times, and blared intermittently through the day, even up until 9:30 p.m. The high-pitched tone sometimes went on for 20 minutes, she added.
“It’s a very annoying, very disturbing sound,” Kiernan said. “You still hear it after it stops.”
Kiernan, along with other neighbors, have called 311, Councilmember Van Bramer’s office, and Department of Environmental Protection, the city agency that deals with noise codes and complaints, to get the harrowing noise to stop.
“DEP has inspected and DOE is working to identify the source of the issue and rectify,” a spokesperson for the DEP said on Thursday.
DEP inspectors told Van Bramer’s office that the noise stemmed from two faulty boilers on the roof of the elementary school, according to a spokesperson for his office.
But workers have already fixed one of the boilers as of Wednesday morning, and completed work on the other boiler by midday on Thursday, the spokesperson said.
“This is a major quality of life issue for the people who live in the neighborhood,” Van Bramer said in a statement. “People should not have to live with this noise waking them up in the early morning hours and continuing into the evening.”
His office said they will continue to follow up with constituents to make sure the noise doesn’t return.
The Department of Education did not respond to requests for comment.