Written by Samantha Seide Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:45
On May 7, trustees set into action a sequence of events that will eventually lead to the demolition of the historic St. Paul’s School. The building, which not only stands as a village landmark but also as a safety hazard, continues to stir debate among residents, some of whom are happy plans are finally under way.
The draft scope will ensure comprehensive environmental review in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and its implemented regulations.
The Village of Garden City, as lead agency, has set forth this draft scope to ensure that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) addresses all significant issues.
Since the board accepted and released the draft scope May 7, a sequence of events will take place over the coming months: a public hearing will be held Thursday, June 4, at 8 p.m. in Garden City Village Hall. In addition to the public hearing, the board instituted a comment period, inviting members of the community to share their ideas and concerns with the village. The comment period began May 15 and will continue until June 16. All letters should be addressed to the attention of Village Administrator Robert L. Schoelle Jr.
Village Counsel Gary Fishberg reminds everyone “that these comments are addressed specifically to the scoping document. This is about the demolition.”
After the June 4 public hearing, a final scope will be issued. The DEIS will then be prepared in accordance with the final scope.
As already decided by the village, the current area St. Paul’s occupies will be used as open public space. According to the draft scope demolition will occur in five phases. First, any historic elements identified according to the principles set forth in the DEIS and subsequent EIS will be removed and properly preserved. In phases two and three, all hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead paint and petroleum products, will be removed from the building. During phase four, the structure of the building itself will be demolished. In phase five the site will be restored and landscaped to ready it to serve its final purpose of acting as a public open space.
The purpose of the DEIS is really to assess any adverse environmental impacts that may be caused by the proposed plan in the following areas: aesthetic resources, historic resources, open space, hazardous materials, public health and safety, community character and construction.
Deputy Mayor John Mauk stated: “It’s not a commitment to undertake any specific action. This is going to produce lots of information in assessing what the impact of demolition is specifically.”
Residents should direct their concerns about the draft scope to the village via snail mail during the comment period.