In an effort to increase communication between the board of education and the board of trustees, members of both boards met Sept. 25 to review upcoming projects and discuss possible initiatives.
Plans for building a comfort station at Scarsdale Middle School are finally on the drawing board, after years of discussion among members of the two boards.
Village Manager Steve Pappalardo said the comfort station, to be located adjacent to the parking lot near the northeast tennis court, would provide shelter for tennis program attendants, storage space and bathrooms that are also ADA compliant. The total footprint would be between 500 and 600 square feet.
Pappalardo said the village would handle financing and construction. About $150,000 has been set aside for the construction of the facility, and much of the work will be done in-house. Contingency costs would also have to be added to the estimated cost and an intermunicipal agreement is needed to define whether the school or village would take responsibility cleanup and maintenance.
Pappalardo said the school facilities department and school district architect would review the plans because the facility is on the school district’s property. The project is also subject to approval by the New York State Education Department review and approval process.
Pappalardo said the village prepared a Request for Proposals, which was forwarded to six firms at the beginning of September. With responses due next week, Pappalardo said he hopes the next phase of the project would move forward in November and construction would take place over the summer.
Regarding the Freightway redevelopment project, Mayor Marc Samwick said the village had received responses to a Request for Proposals to redevelop the 2.5-acre site and surrounding area.
With the help of planners from AKRF, a New York City company with an office in White Plains, Scarsdale village officials are reviewing the RFP responses and intend to narrow the field down to two finalists. The board and staff plan to hold an open meeting for the public to listen to the finalists’ plans, but no meeting date has been set as of press time.
Reporting on construction in the school district, Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey said the Greenacres Elementary School renovation project is on schedule, will continue through the summer of 2020 and should be complete by the start of the next school year.
At the high school, work is ongoing at Dean Field, and Mattey said school officials are hoping to have further discussions with their counterparts in the village in order to find a solution for ongoing stormwater drainage issues at the the field.
Also at the high school, a large part of the roof will be replaced next summer and some interior work will take place. The other schools in the district will have capital projects to update the facilities, all of which are funded through bonds.
Samwick and school board president Scott Silberfein talked about implementing a buddy system to have members of each board meet to talk and discuss upcoming projects and events.
Samwick said after he first joined the board of trustees in the spring of 2014, he and Silberfein met over lunch every once in a while to talk about what each board was working on, which they both found helpful, and he said they are hoping to continue that collaboration.
“We want to establish a relationship and talk about issues, if there are any,” Silberfein said.
While shared services are already an aspect of the village-school collaboration, especially in terms of facilities, Silberfein said there’s potential for further sharing.
“We share the same residents and tax base,” said Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman. “We should encourage long-term planning as well.”
Trustee Jon Lewis echoed Hagerman’s sentiments, and said, “We serve the same taxpayers so the more we collaborate, the better it is for the community.”
Samwick brought up another topic — the possibility of increased coverage by AT&T and Verizon via the public safety building on Tompkins Road to eliminate dead zones that affect cell service.
“One of the main issues is we have a gap in cellular coverage,” Samwick said. “I heard from the chiefs [of fire and police] departments … We can’t have enough backup for communications.”
Silberfein said having additional coverage at the high school would be a positive as well.
A public meeting to discuss additional cellphone network coverage has not yet been scheduled.