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Questions and Answers About the Proposed Renovation at Greenacres School

bricksHow high are the retaining walls in front of the proposed addition at Greenacres? Where will the storm water go and what about the humid conditions in the gym? We posed some questions about the renovation and expansion at Greenacres School to Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey in December and received his responses on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The questions concerned the siting of the building, air quality, the budget and sustainability.

Though some of the answers beget more questions, here is what we learned:

(Question) There is a $1,000,000 budget line for historic renovation/preservation premium allowance. Please explain how those funds will be used:

(Answer) These funds have been budgeted in the proposed bond in order to provide the ability for enhanced detailing, both interior and exterior in order to preserve, maintain and further the integrity of the historic architectural elements/qualities of this building.

(Point of information:) The building is not included on the state or federal register of historic buildings.

(Question) What is the contingency % for the renovation at Greenacres and where can I find those funds in the bond proposal?

(Answer) As per normal scope estimating, all estimates for all of the identified scope items in the proposed project include a percent amount set aside for contingency (approximately 17%) there is also contingency for cost escalation (5%) and 13.5% set aside for soft costs.

(Question) What is the plan for drainage and storm water management? The size of the building will expand and pretty much cover all the building site – where will the water go?

(Answer) The proposed addition and associated disturbance is below the 1-acre threshold for storm water management (established by the NYSDEC) and does not require post construction storm water management practices. However, the project design has elected to incorporate storm water management controls into the scope and consulted with the village on a schematic level. Roof runoff, as a result of the new addition coverage, will be captured and mitigated using an appropriately-sized underground storage facility (vault) that will detain and control the release of storm water into the existing municipal separate storm sewer system. Mitigation will be achieved by controlling up to the 100- year, 24-hour rainfall event back to below pre-construction flow rates.

Air Quality

Humidity levels in the gym were reported at 65% in October, 2017. The new renovation calls for the existing windows to be covered up by the building addition. Air conditioning will not be included for the gym. The district's report says, "The chief problem with high indoor humidity from a health standpoint is the potential for mold growth. Humidity levels greater than 30% increase the potential for mold growth and high humidity, 60% or greater can cause biological contamination." The humidity levels in on the lower level of the school ranged from 63% to 71% and the humidity in the gym was measured at 65%.

Therefore we asked Mattey the following question:

(Question) Please let us know how fresh air will be brought into the gym and how the humidity will be decreased?

(Answer) Fresh air will be brought into the Greenacres gym via the existing relatively new heating and ventilating units, which operate to current code. Filtration will be added on the outdoor air intakes to reduce any intake of dust. Humidity would be controlled the same way it is currently, through the introduction of fresh air. That space will essentially remain the same as its current operation which is similar to all other buildings except for Heathcote where a ventilating unit is proposed in the project as it currently does not have one.

Building Design

We also noted that the renderings of the proposed building show the elevation from an aerial view or a point way out in the field. They do not show how the building would appear to a person standing on the sidewalk in front of it. Some have expressed concern that since the proposed three story building extends almost to the sidewalk on Huntington Road, it will be imposing and out of scale with the neighborhood.

Therefore, we requested that architect provide a rendering from the vantage point of a person standing in the plaza at the Huntington Road side of the school. We asked for a drawing that shows the view up to the roof and to each side.

Mattey responded: "The architect is currently working on additional renderings now that the BOE has approved the project to move forward to District voters. "

GAcresAerial

We are also concerned that the new building is being cut into a hill, requiring the use of retaining walls. We asked, "What is the height of the retaining wall in front of the building?"

(Answer) The retaining wall in the student gathering area starts at 18" as a bench and rises to a height of 60"  (5 feet) of which will include that same 18" bench (18" of bench + 42" of retaining wall at the highest point). The retaining wall immediately outside of the Learning Commons will start at approximately 60" at the new entranceway and gradually decrease to approximately 12" as it approaches Sage Terrace.

Do you have questions about the proposal? Post them in the comments section below and we'll see if we can get some answers.

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