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Letter: Concerns About Developement

Like many Plainview Old Bethpage residents, I have questions and concerns about how the proposed Beechwood Development’s 890 homes will affect our school district, of which 264 homes are available to families.  

Are we, the POB school district, prepared for an influx of students, of any amount?  

Is there a strategy and a specific plan as to precisely how this will be executed, for Day 1?  

Has there been a detailed plan of how to execute this influx of students, not in theory, in reality? A plan should be comprehensive and address several scenarios, such as for 50 additional students, for 100, for 150 etc. Many scenarios should be considered with varying amounts of children of various ages. A complete study and execution plan should be initiated, and consequently be shared with the community, so all tax payers can understand the impact. If a meticulous plan has not been thought out, then there is no knowledge of the real cost for our school district. If a comprehensive study has not been done, how will anyone know long-term financial effects to our district? Residents are deciding whether to oppose or support this development and this information would be extremely helpful to know.

With the possibility of between 35 and 200 children entering the district, and continuing to be in the district in the future, how will they be logistically accommodated? Where exactly will they be educated, at which schools? What is the specific plan for classrooms, at each of the nearest schools: Old Bethpage Elem. and Mattlin MS?  Eventually these students will attend the HS…how many more students can the HS hold? Will redistricting be necessary?  How many additional teachers, buses, aides etc. will be needed in each scenario? Are there available classrooms now at any of the schools? Will specialty rooms such as Art and Music be eliminated to make more classroom spaces? Will class sizes increase?

Answering these questions and examining the real actions required for this potential student influx should be treated like homework. It is an essential task that must be done to be fully prepared…a lesson we impress upon our students and children every day.

In 2000, the land was sold and lawmakers worked on the zoning with great care and thought, based on keeping it consistent with the surrounding areas, and specifically to what would be accommodated in the schools, and not a logistical problem. They came up with a reasonable number, 45 homes, not a number that was selected from thin air.  The enormous quantity of 890 homes proposed, is completely irresponsible. It is 18 times more homes that were listed on the paper signed by the purchaser of this property.

A Concerned Resident from Plainview