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Residents Draft Petition to Save Greenacres School

greenacreschoolWhen neighbors learned that Greenacres School could be torn down and replaced with a larger building on Greenacres Field they were alarmed for many reasons.

Why? Greenacres is the oldest school in Scarsdale and some residents want to preserve a piece of history. The field is the only remaining play space in Greenacres, after George Field was converted into a retention pond to alleviate flooding, and people who live around the field value the open expanse of green.

A group of concerned residents joined together to draft a petition and it now has 270 signatures. Here is a comment from Greenacres resident Meredith Gantcher --and find the text of the petition below:

From Meredith Gantcher:greeacrestoday

"Seven years ago our family moved from the Upper West Side to Scarsdale. We specifically limited our search to Greenacres because I fell in love with the tree-lined streets with classic Tudors and brick center hall Colonials, the intimacy of the neighborhood, and the idyllic public school. Most of all, I loved Greenacres field and playground because it was filled with families weekends and weekdays and had the vitality of a city park, but the beauty and open space of the suburbs.

On April 20th I attended the Board of Ed meeting in order to hear KD&G's report on their feasibility study for Greenacres School because I had heard rumors that one of the plans was to demolish the existing school and build a new one on the field. After hearing the presentation by KD&G and learning that the Board was seriously considering "Option C," to tear down Greenacres school and build a huge school complex with a "High School size gym to serve the entire Scarsdale community", I met with a group of 6 other neighbors who were equally shocked that the Board could actually propose destroying Greenacres Field – the heart and soul of our neighborhood. We quickly drafted a petition and began circulating the petition last Thursday and to date we have 270 signatures representing 200 distinct households in Greenacres, or approximately 20% of GA households.

Our goal is to send a loud message to the Board of Ed that while we are willing partners in enhancing our school and ensuring that our children receive the best education a public school can offer, we must be equally committed to preserving the unique character of our community."

Here is a copy of the petition:

Keep The Green In Greenacres

To: Scarsdale Board of Education and Greenacres Building Committee
I have reviewed the proposed plans for the Greenacres School presented by KG&D at the April 20, 2015 Scarsdale School Board Meeting. As a resident of Greenacres, I URGE the Board and Building Committee to eliminate "Option C," which involves demolishing the existing historic Greenacres School and destroying the Greenacres Field - the heart and soul of our community.

The Greenacres Field, which defines our neighborhood, functions as a village green in the most traditional sense; the field is our "town center," a beautiful, open green space that is filled with residents of our neighborhood weekdays and weekends; a place where toddlers, teens, parents and caregivers all meet and congregate.

I strongly object to pursuing "Option C" because this plan would:

• Eliminate the only large contiguous green space in Greenacres, making our neighborhood the ONLY neighborhood in Scarsdale without a large open field;

• Significantly reduce the overall green space in our already densely built neighborhood;

• Eliminate the black top (built with funds donated by Greenacres residents) that serves as a gathering point for the entire neighborhood, where children learn to ride their bicycles and teens play basketball;

• Significantly reduce the playground space for our youngest students and children. "Option C" would eliminate a separate playground and blacktop like the one currently used by K and 1st grade classes behind the existing school;

• Negatively impact community celebrations (such as the Annual Fourth of July celebration, Back to School Picnic and Greenacres Carnival);

• Ruin the aesthetic of our neighborhood by creating a High School- sized gym and two large parking lots.

Beyond altering the very character of our neighborhood via the destruction of the Greenacres Field, such a plan would also fail to solve the "Huntington Avenue problem," as children would still need to cross the street to reach a playing field. Moreover, the inclusion of a large High School-sized gym to serve "the entire Scarsdale community" would massively increase the traffic flow in our otherwise quiet streets.

As a member of this neighborhood, I am dedicated to improving our school and community. However, I am convinced that the demolition of the Greenacres School and resulting destruction of the Field is not the best solution. I forcefully urge the Board and Committee to focus on alternatives based on renovating, updating, and/or expanding the existing school. These approaches will be far less disruptive and damaging to the neighborhood and allow Greenacres to remain a vibrant community for the next 100 years.

If you wish to sign the petition, click here to access it.