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As the end of the year approaches, excitement fills the air on the third floor as the class of 2016 gets pumped for prom. Typically, seniors of Townsend Harris stress about looking presentable, having enough money to pay for prom expenses, having a date, and events after prom. This year, they have one more thing to worry about: the location. Water’s Edge, located in Long Island City, used to be the ideal location for the party. But due to incidents with this location, the Class of 2016 prom has been changed to Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.
Teachers found out that the owner of Water’s Edge, Harendra Singh, did not pay his workers, did not pay the rent for multiple years, bribed officials due to his failed inspections and was arrested for taking one million dollars from federal disaster aid after falsely stating that his restaurant was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Needless to say, these business practices made it necessary for the school to look elsewhere for a reliable venue. Though students have enjoyed the view from Water’s Edge in the past, the concern amongst the faculty involved in the decision is that Water’s Edge could close and the school wouldn’t have a prom venue if it did.
After a long search, Russo’s on the Bay seemed to be the best choice for this year’s prom.
Principal Anthony Barbetta stated, “We decided to go somewhere else for prom to ensure that we do have a prom.”
However, finding the perfect prom location in such short notice is not as easy as it seems. Ms. Assante, the Senior Advisor stated, “I spoke with many different catering halls and took a variety of things under consideration, such as location, price, ambiance, food quality, reputation, accessibility and of course, available dates.”
Many students have their own opinion on the location change.
Senior Gerra Gamaro said, “I think this new location is definitely a downgrade from Water’s Edge. Water’s Edge had really nice scenery and gives off that New York City feeling. I’m still attending prom because prom is prom. It’s supposed to be the best night in high school.”
Assistant Principal Ellen Fee said, “Prom will be great in either of the two places; the students are what make the prom great, not necessarily the location.”
Freshmen, sophomores and juniors might have the option of reevaluating the location of their own prom in upcoming years.
Sophomore Leslie Huang said, “Ms. Assante told us that when they found out about Water’s Edge it was really sudden, so they had to scramble to find a new place besides Russo’s on the Bay, but not many were available. We might get a different location when it comes to our prom because they have more time to look and this one won’t be permanent.”