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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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Comments   

#14 ScarsdaleForumEducationCommittee 2018-01-19 22:05
For those of you interested in the subject of long-term financial planning at Scarsdale schools, the Education Committee released its report recommending that the Administration create and implement a five-year long-term financial plan. It is available on the public reports section of the Scarsdale Forum website. The report includes a financial model and resources on long-term financial planning. Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can you make a 5 year financial plan without this bond? Where future money will come from? Otherwise the 5 year financial plan will be just that.. a plan with no funding...
Quoting Empathetic:
The School District announced in December 2017 that they are working on a five year long term financial plan. Quoting Long term financial planning:
I did. At board meeting in fact. Chris Morin (one of the board members) did as well and everybody ignored it especially Hagermann. Whichever Greenacres parent that I speak to don't want this mess...
Quoting Empathetic:
Did you ask the school district for a long term plan? What are you looking for in that plan to help you decide what about the school bond? Out of curiosity, how do you know Greenacres does not want the bond? I look forward to more information to further the dialogue.

Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
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#13 Long term financial planning 2018-01-18 17:20
How can you make a 5 year financial plan without this bond? Where future money will come from? Otherwise the 5 year financial plan will be just that.. a plan with no funding...
Quoting Empathetic:
The School District announced in December 2017 that they are working on a five year long term financial plan. Quoting Long term financial planning:
I did. At board meeting in fact. Chris Morin (one of the board members) did as well and everybody ignored it especially Hagermann. Whichever Greenacres parent that I speak to don't want this mess...
Quoting Empathetic:
Did you ask the school district for a long term plan? What are you looking for in that plan to help you decide what about the school bond? Out of curiosity, how do you know Greenacres does not want the bond? I look forward to more information to further the dialogue.

Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
Quote
#12 Frank Quesnay 2018-01-18 13:54
All those millions of dollars and that huge field area and there is no plan to direct any storm water into an interconnected series of dry wells? Instead, they are going to capture it and release it slowly into the MSSSS (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System)? Not exactly a shining moment in environmental stewardship for the district.
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#11 GA Resident 2018-01-18 13:09
Exactly because GA is declining and needs work to bring it up to current standards. No, they won't re-district. The space being added solves the current lack of multi-purpose space and small classroom sizes for the current population in GA.

Quoting still do not get it:
The wonderful projects from the 2014 $18 million bond are solving big problems at every school. How does it make sense to spend $35 million at one declining school without fixing its fundamental problems? Is there a plan to redistrict kids from overcrowded neighborhoods to GA once GA builds all the extra rooms?
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#10 Scarsdale Resident 2018-01-18 13:07
I would expect many many cranes. They will definitely be "swinging" lots and lots of steel for many years and with any luck, they will time this perfectly so that they will only "swing" steel (really fast like a lasso by the way) when the children are walking too and from school.

In other words, take a deep breath and try to have a bit of a reasonable outlook. Do you need to march your kids underneath working cranes to get to school? No,there are various ways to approach school and get into entrances other than Huntington. It has been made quite clear all of the safety precautions being put in place including additional aides for drop off and pick up.

Quoting GA Parent:
How many cranes will be used at Greenacres? Where will they be located and how long will they be there? Will steel be swung over Huntington? Over the blacktop? Over the playground? Will steel be swung while children are outdoors?
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#9 Empathetic 2018-01-18 12:40
The School District announced in December 2017 that they are working on a five year long term financial plan. Quoting Long term financial planning:
I did. At board meeting in fact. Chris Morin (one of the board members) did as well and everybody ignored it especially Hagermann. Whichever Greenacres parent that I speak to don't want this mess...
Quoting Empathetic:
Did you ask the school district for a long term plan? What are you looking for in that plan to help you decide what about the school bond? Out of curiosity, how do you know Greenacres does not want the bond? I look forward to more information to further the dialogue.

Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
Quote
#8 Long term financial planning 2018-01-18 11:51
I did. At board meeting in fact. Chris Morin (one of the board members) did as well and everybody ignored it especially Hagermann. Whichever Greenacres parent that I speak to don't want this mess...
Quoting Empathetic:
Did you ask the school district for a long term plan? What are you looking for in that plan to help you decide what about the school bond? Out of curiosity, how do you know Greenacres does not want the bond? I look forward to more information to further the dialogue.

Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
Quote
#7 Empathetic 2018-01-17 23:07
Did you ask the school district for a long term plan? What are you looking for in that plan to help you decide what about the school bond? Out of curiosity, how do you know Greenacres does not want the bond? I look forward to more information to further the dialogue.

Quoting Long term financial planning:
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
Quote
#6 Long term financial planning 2018-01-17 17:31
How can I put my stamp on this bond when I didn't see any long term financial planning for the district? Greenacres doesn't want this mess and they are throwing crumbs that can be done in operating budget to other districts to sign off on it. But it's all packaged nicely by the PR firm I bet...
Quote
#5 still do not get it 2018-01-17 16:48
The wonderful projects from the 2014 $18 million bond are solving big problems at every school. How does it make sense to spend $35 million at one declining school without fixing its fundamental problems? Is there a plan to redistrict kids from overcrowded neighborhoods to GA once GA builds all the extra rooms?
Quote

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