Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined Council Member Andrew Cohen, educators and students today to dedicate the newly-renovated library at the John F. Kennedy High School Campus the “G. Oliver Koppell Learning Center,” in honor of the former Attorney General, City Council Member, State Assemblyman and longtime figure in the political and civic life of The Bronx.
The renovation was funded by Borough President Diaz and Mr. Koppell in FY2013, while Mr. Koppell served in the City Council. The two officials jointly provided $700,000 in capital funding for the project.
“We all stand on the shoulders of someone who prepared, who fertilized the ground, so that in the future someone like me could be where I am today,” said Borough President Diaz while discussing the need to fund major education projects at the dedication and the importance of the new library. “We’re paying it forward. Shame on us if we don’t take the opportunity to invest tax dollars to make sure we get a good rate of return on our best investment: our students.”
“I don’t care that we now have computers and all the rest, I don’t think that there’s any substitute for a real book,” said Mr. Koppell at the event. “Today is a very proud day for me, and I’m glad to be a part of making this a reality.”
“Oliver Koppell’s dedication to this library is endemic of his dedication to the issue of education throughout his career,” said Council Member Cohen at the event. “Education is near and dear to his heart, and he deserves a round of applause for that.”
Mr. Koppell first served in the New York State Assembly from 1970 to 1994, when he became New York State Attorney General. Mr. Koppell also served as president of Bronx Community School Board #10 and as a member of the New York City Council from 2002 through 2013.