Even in a city full of disgusting public bathrooms, the situation over at P.S. 132 stands out as particularly awful. A DNAinfo reporter paid a visit to the 100-year-old Washington Heights building, where students have it worse than the Saturday night patrons of the Lower East Side’s smelliest dive bars:
[Parents] described the bathrooms as having low-hanging, exposed pipes that students climb on when unsupervised, as well as stall doors that frequently get stuck, forcing children to crawl on the dirty floor to exit them.
“Kids were coming home with urine on their shirts,” said Megan Cossey, whose son attends Dos Puentes, which recently hosted the Queen of Spain and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The bathrooms have literally never been renovated. The building is over 100 years old, and it looks it.”
Unfortunately, the pee-soaked shirts might not even be the worst part. If you’re eating something, put it down:
In these bathrooms, the toilets are often filled with waste because they operate using foot-pedal flushers that are too difficult for many of the youngest children to use, while the urinals are too large and tower over the youngest students, parents said.
Additionally, they said the pipes in the bathroom frequently get backed up and leak onto the floor — a situation that is especially concerning in the girls bathroom, which is separated from the cafeteria by a partition that ends inches from the floor.
“You can imagine the stench,” Crisostomo said. “And it’s right next to the kitchen where the food is being warmed.”
DNAinfo reports that after years of lobbying by freaked-out parents and local politicians, the city’s School Construction Authority has finally vowed to spend $2.8 million to improve P.S. 132’s bathrooms. “[We] anticipate the work will be done by December 2015,” said a Department of Education spokesperson. Should you be confronted with an overflowing toilet in the meantime, just be grateful that you’re old enough to take yourself elsewhere.