Lack of science labs in Manhattan school puts students at risk of graduating

HELLS KITCHEN, Manhattan — They are young New Yorkers hungry to become the city's next top chef.

But they're learning a tough lesson at the Food and Finance High School: how to do more with less.

Especially when it comes to studying science.

"Last year we didn't really have a lab because the lab was a cooking room so we couldn't do much in the lab," student Kay Smith told PIX11 News.

Today the specialized, culinary high school is in the hot seat. Students and parents told PIX11 that budget issues have delayed construction of the school's much-needed science labs.

"The science teachers are working in the labs, but they don't have the materials," junior Richard Cervil told PIX11.

And the lack of science labs has created a major challenge for Richard and his classmates.

"We're getting our science classes, but not the labs," Cervil explained. "So we can't take the Regents."

Jalen Ford is a senior. He needs science lab credits to meet the requirements for his diploma.

"I can't take my science classes so I can't graduate this year," said Ford. "It's sad but it's true you know. I can't really do nothing about it."

Parent Dana Rodriguez said school officials never notified her about the lab construction delay.

PIX11 reached out to the Department of Education for answers and a timeline for when the science labs will be complete. We are still waiting for a response and so are these high schoolers.