Monday, Jan 21st

Last updateThu, 17 Jan 2019 12pm

You are here: Home Content On Our Minds Missing Part of the Renovate/Rebuild Discussion
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Demographer Provides 5-Year Enrollment Projection for the Scarsdale Schools

Demographer Provides 5-Year Enrollment Projection for the Scarsdale Schools

It was somewhat of a surprise last spring to learn that projected enrollment for...

Where Your Village Taxes Go

Where Your Village Taxes Go

Though the portion of your real estate taxes that goes to Scarsdale Village only...

Cannon to Leave School Board, District Announces Retirement of Administrator and Teachers

Cannon to Leave School Board, District Announces Retirement of Administrator and Teachers

Nina Cannon Both her board colleagues and the administration appeared to be surpr...

Jill Spieler to Receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Award

Jill Spieler to Receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Award

Jill Spieler will receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Jill Spieler, an extraordinary ...

Dine Like Royalty at the New Z Prime Italian Steakhouse

Dine Like Royalty at the New Z Prime Italian Steakhouse

At a time when everything seems to be rushed, it’s a joy to enter the new and st...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Missing Part of the Renovate/Rebuild Discussion

letter-to-the-editorBelow find a letter from Greenacres resident Jeanette Warner:
Whether we spend up to $60 million on either to rebuild or renovate Greenacres School, the school board must determine whether it is possible to close Huntington Avenue between Montrose Road/Sage Terrace and Putnam Road.

Whether one is in favor of renovation or rebuilding, both plans would benefit by increasing the build-able space by closing the road separating the school and the park.

While there has been an occasional reference to the possibility of closing the road during the renovate vs rebuild discussion, the school board has not released to the public a thorough legal analysis of the possibility and benefits of closing the road.

In 2008, the school district did receive a legal opinion from Keane & Beane which concluded that there is no legal reason why the road cannot be closed, assuming certain criteria are met including a resolution of the Village Board of Trustees. Yes, there are legal hoops to jump through, but they are not insurmountable. The opinion letter outlines the legal steps which must be taken prior to closing the road. Basically, the Village Board of Trustees would have to determine that the road serves no useful purpose and pass a resolution requesting the Legislature to pass a Home Rule Letter.

What are the benefits of closing Huntington Avenue between Montrose Road and Putnam Road?

Primarily, increasing the buildable space for either renovation or rebuilding. The current footprint of the renovation plan as displayed by the architects at the June 22nd meeting has the renovated Greenacres School squeezed into the existing lot with brick walls soaring up within 8 or 10 feet of the street. The architectural features of the historic building are covered on three sides by the additions effectively hiding the charm of Greenacres School. And even with a 30$ million renovation budget, some features cannot be included due to lack of space. Likewise, by closing Huntington Avenue, the architects would have a larger footprint to rebuild the school. The new school could be designed without eliminating some the adjacent playing fields. In addition, the rebuilt school would be linked seamlessly to the playgrounds. The school would be incorporated into the park space symbolically joining the two functions and ideally healing the rifts that the rebuild/renovate discussion has caused.

Of equal if not of more importance is the benefit provided for the safety of the students. Each day, the students must cross Huntington Avenue to reach the blacktop and playground equipment for recess and physical education. Pick off and drop off are white knuckled times for the drivers when children dart in and out of cars. The architects' renovation proposal suggests relocating existing parking to the blacktop requiring the student to not only cross Huntington, but to weave their way through the parking lot to reach the field beyond, thus increasing the danger to the students and providing a smaller blacktop area for recess. By closing Huntington Avenue, the renovation could incorporate an attractive and safe area for pick off and drop off without eliminating any of the playing fields. Further, the layout for a new Greenacres school as presented at the June 22nd meeting does nothing to address the above safety issues. While the architect agreed to examine safety issues in its next revisions, any provision for a dedicated pick off and drop off space in the rebuilt Greenacres school would eliminate some of the playing fields thus decreasing the space for the students and the community to use the playing fields. Both the renovation and rebuilding options would benefit from the additional space to incorporate a safe and attractive location for drop off and pick up.

Both the Village Manager and the Village Attorney suggest that the threshold issue as to whether the road can be closed would be a safety/traffic study. Only with a traffic/safety study can the Village Trustees determine whether this portion of Huntington Avenue truly serves a useful purpose in light of the safety benefits achieved by closing. I've spoken to FP Clark in Rye, a planning consultant which has provided for the Village and School District traffic and safety studies in the past. From my conversation, a traffic and safety study would need to be done while school is in session. They suggest beginning no earlier than the third week of school when school traffic is normalized. With the intervention of the Jewish holidays, the study would be completed mid-October. Estimated cost of such a study would be around $8000.

Before the Village spends either $30 million on renovation or $60 million on a new building, the Village would benefit from learning whether Huntington Avenue can be closed. We need to take the final decision on the Greenacres rebuild/ renovate off the table while we determine whether it's possible to increase the buildable space and increase the safety of our students by closing the street. The delay is only a few months and the cost is very minor while the potential benefits, most importantly, the increase in safety of the children during pick up and drop off and recess is overwhelming.

Sincerely,

Jeannette Warner
6 Farley Road
Scarsdale

Good Work

SETTING

Scarsdale’s Legislators Engel and Stewart-Cousins in the Spotlight this Week

Scarsdale’s Legislators Engel and Stewart-Cousins in the Spotlight this Week

Two of Scarsdale’s representatives are making headlines this week. Now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), w...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Public Comments Invited on Freightway Development January 22

Public Comments Invited on Freightway Development January 22

( From Scarsdale Village ) The Village of Scarsdale Committee of the Whole will convene a meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 to garner public comments...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Get in the Game: Scarsdale Invites Residents to Apply for Boards and Councils

Get in the Game: Scarsdale Invites Residents to Apply for Boards and Councils

It’s that time of year again. The Scarsdale Board of Trustees’ Personnel Committee is making its annual appeal for residents to apply for open positio...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

A Poet and a President

A Poet and a President

On Sunday February 10th at 3pm the Scarsdale Forum, the League of Women Voters Scarsdale and the Scarsdale Library will be screening the film JFK: The...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Scarsdale Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team Now 5-5 and Shooting for the Playoffs

Scarsdale Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team Now 5-5 and Shooting for the Playoffs

Captain Kayla Maroney '20 shooting a free throw The Scarsdale Girls Varsity Basketball team has had a solid season so far with a record of 5-5. When fi...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Parents Encouraged To Complete Online Kindergarten Registration by January 31, 2019

Parents Encouraged To Complete Online Kindergarten Registration by January 31, 2019

The Scarsdale School District offers online Kindergarten registration. Current residents who expect to have a child attend Kindergarten during the 201...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

Where Your Village Taxes Go

Where Your Village Taxes Go

Though the portion of your real estate taxes that goes to Scarsdale Village only accounts for 18.3% of the total bill, the services they fund are perh...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Athletic Department Exploring Proposal to Light Butler Field

Athletic Department Exploring Proposal to Light Butler Field

Now that the resurfacing of Butler Field and the track is underway, a longtime request to light the field is back on the table. At the Board of Educat...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Demographer Provides 5-Year Enrollment Projection for the Scarsdale Schools

Demographer Provides 5-Year Enrollment Projection for the Scarsdale Schools

It was somewhat of a surprise last spring to learn that projected enrollment for kindergarten in Scarsdale was down – way down. Though traditionally e...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Cannon to Leave School Board, District Announces Retirement of Administrator and Teachers

Cannon to Leave School Board, District Announces Retirement of Administrator and Teachers

Nina Cannon Both her board colleagues and the administration appeared to be surprised by school board member Nina Cannon’s announcement at the BOE meet...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Boys Hockey Gaining Momentum on the Ice

Boys Hockey Gaining Momentum on the Ice

Scarsdale Boys Varsity Hockey team is gaining momentum that could potentially carry them deep into the playoffs.

The Raiders have been riddled with inj...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Today's News

SETTING

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Dine Like Royalty at the New Z Prime Italian Steakhouse

Dine Like Royalty at the New Z Prime Italian Steakhouse

At a time when everything seems to be rushed, it’s a joy to enter the new and stunning Z Prime Italian Steakhouse , to enjoy an upscale meal served with...

Read More

People

SETTING

Jill Spieler to Receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Award

Jill Spieler to Receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Award

Jill Spieler will receive the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl Jill Spieler, an extraordinary resident with 40 years of dedicated volunteerism to Scarsdale, will be...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids