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JUNE 3, 2017 - Letter to Editor, printed in Scarsdale Inquirer

BBS architects did a good job with their plan for all schools
To the Editor,
   At the Board of Education meeting May 22, we were impressed and encouraged by the thorough analysis and recommendations for all district schools by BBS Architects and Engineers — hired with extensive, competitive vetting following the firing of original architects KG&D. 
   In a holistic assessment of the seven schools throughout the district,Greenacres School was found to be well maintained, a “wonderful and justifiable” building, and, in some cases, in better condition than younger schools.  Indeed, all schools were viable with strengths and challenges addressed and prioritized. BBS answered thoughtfully and convincingly the controversial questions put forth to them by members of the BOE—including the safety of children during renovation. 
   With architects, designers, and engineers on their team, BBS demonstrated appreciation for the history of the village along with a dynamic educational vision and philosophy.  We were excited to see their innovative solutions for updating infrastructure and enhancing learning and space needs in all schools, but especially in Greenacres, which can be designed, staged, and safely renovated and expanded.  

   BBS also projected that the Greenacres project would cost half as much as new construction.
   With other district schools turning 100 in addition to Greenacres — Edgewood, Fox Meadow, and the high school —demolishing aging schools is not a solution, nor is it necessary; we should be proud that our Scarsdale schools are viable, sound, and well cared for.  

  Further, the real estate arguments concerning Greenacres are alarmist and inaccurate; we all know of many Greenacres homes that sold quickly at, near, or above asking price. And the lovely, active Greenacres field and charming school continue to appeal to potential buyers. 
   Everyone agrees about the importance of making timely district-wide decisions and moving forward as quickly as possible. As concerned residents of Greenacres, we have been respectful of the process, engaged and committed to finding solutions for the future of our children, our beloved school and field for more than two years. With lawn signs still in place from River Road to the Grange, the numbers remain strong for residents in favor of expanding and updating the existing school while preserving the valuable real estate at the center of the neighborhood.
   We are united in our desire to provide the best educational environment for our children.  It is time for the Greenacres community to come together in support of creative plans that safely and artfully renovate and expand our historic and cherished school to benefit the children in the 21st century, while retaining our vibrant and vital open green space, as well as the beauty and character of the neighborhood — all great selling points for buying a home, living, and remaining in Greenacres.
                      MARNIE & PETER GELFMAN, Brite Ave.       VAL & MIKE GREENBERG, Brite Ave.
                      KIM & GARY LIEBOWITZ, Walworth Ave.        DANIEL REINGOLD, Greenacres Ave. 
                      LESLEY SHEARER,  Brewster Rd.                  BARBARA & BARRY WENGLIN, Brewster Rd.