Written by Michael Scro Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00
The Village of New Hyde Park held a public hearing last week for Mercy Akinyooye, who wants to open a nursing aide school at 613 Jericho Tpke. The village board deferred decision on the application.
Akinyooye, who was born in Nigeria and currently resides in Valley Stream, is seeking to establish the Mericel Academy. She is a registered nurse and has been practicing for 30 years, five of which she spent in England.
The academy will teach a maximum of 10 students per class. Should the application be approved, Akinyooye said she will begin with five students and at least three teachers, two of which are certified through the New York State Education Department.
“I will have a small size class so I have enough time to focus on the students, and given them proper attention,” Akinyooye said.
According to Akinyooye, there will be three sessions available in either daytime (Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), evening (Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.) and Saturday classes (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
The proposed location would be the first school set up by Akinyooye. The only construction work needed is a partition to divide the space into two rooms—a classroom and a small hospital bed. The property is 930 sq. ft., is equipped with restrooms, and the application also requires 24 parking spaces, which will be going to the village’s zoning board of appeals.
Akinyooye explained that her academy prepares students for a certified nursing assistant (CNA) exam issued by the state. The academy issues a final exam for their graduating students as well.
She said that the average salary for CNA in the United States is $33,000 per year, and her academy is in contact with nursing agencies seeking employment for her graduating students.
“I have the passion to teach and the care of the patients in hospitals depend mainly on CNAs,” Akinyooye said. “I feel I should give back to the community and share my knowledge.”
Trustee Donald Barbieri, who is wheelchair bound from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, expressed a particular passion with Akinyooye for her work.
“I hope you can enpart to the people you work with what you’ve said to us tonight… nursing and caring for people has to be from the heart,” Barbieri said.
Village of New Hyde Park Mayor Robert Lofaro announced that the village has received a one notch upgrade in its S&P (Standard and Poor’s) bond rating, going from AA to AA+.
“We’re one notch below the highest rating you can possibly get from S&P, so when we talk about the good financial position of the village, it is true,” Lofaro said.
Lofaro announced that parks and recreation has received a $50,000 grant New York State Dormitory Authority, with the assistance of State Senator Jack Martins. According to Lofaro, the grant will be used with $75,000 that the village has in a reserve fund to resurface the tennis courts and basketball court at memorial park and replace the walking track inside the park along the fence line.
Lofaro said a bid document will be put together internally, and work will hopefully be done in time for a majority of the upcoming summer season.
Barbieri said he recently got in touch with representatives from Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s office regarding helicopter noise issues.
“They’ve been trying to get me some definitive word from the FAA in regard to the requirements that pilots flying out on the island utilize,” he stated.
A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling from late 2013 stated that helicopters in the New York metro area must fly over water one mile out from the north shore of Long Island, to minimize noise pollution in residential areas.
Barbieri explained that the village is seeking to find out who would issue sanctions if the law is broken and who is enforcing the law.
Barbieri said that construction crews are back out working on the Jericho Turnpike for the Operation Main Street project, and are working to complete a majority of the work by early May.
Trustee Donna M. Squicciarino retained her seat in uncontested election victory last Tuesday. Sixty-three votes were cast in the election.
“I look forward to continuing my service to the village,” Squicciarino said.