Architects Examine Options for Greenacres School
- Category: Schools
- Published on 21 April 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
What will happen to the Greenacres Elementary School? Undersized and plagued with structural issues, the 100 year-old elementary school is poised for improvement or possibly demolition. The district has retained architects KG&D, who are working on a large renovation and improvement of district facilities, with doing a feasibility study to determine whether the school should be repaired, expanded or even razed.
Residents got an update from the architects at a study session before the April 20th Scarsdale Board of Education Meeting and learned how the architects are approaching the study.
Here is what they shared:
The school is currently covering the maximum allowable footprint on the property and variances would be needed to expand it further. It now houses 400 students in grades K-5 as well as special needs students.
A Building Committee that includes administrators, teachers, parents, community members, a board representative and the Village Planner has been formed.
The architects surveyed the condition of the building and found the following:
The building has inadequate ventilation and the amount of fresh air in the classrooms is below current standards. They believe new heating and air conditioning systems are needed.
The roof needs to be replaced
The building is located on land with a high water table and water sometimes leaks in.
Plumbing and pipes are old and should be replaced.
Greenacres has 78 square feet of net usable space per student or 26% less overall space per student than the average of the other four remaining elementary schools at 105 square feet per student. The existing square footage per student falls below the space standards from New York State and national recommendations.
Architects then presented the four options that they are currently exploring:
1) Repair the building's mechanical issues and leave it as is
2) Option A – Do extensive renovations without adding any square footage to the building. The school would accommodate 335 students. Since the architects estimate that the population of the school will be around 415 students in the future, Option A requires redistricting.
3) Option B – renovate the current building and do an addition on the Putnam Road side
4) Option C – build a new Greenacres School on the playground and field across the street and convert the site of the existing building to playing fields.
In Pptions A and B, current classroom walls would be removed to create larger classrooms that meet the current square footage requirements. In Option A, as there would be fewer classrooms, approximately 80 students would have to attend another school.
Option B includes a 21,000 square foot addition on the Putnam Road side of the school. The state would need to grant the district variances to expand the size of the school.
Option C calls for a new two-story school across the street from the existing site. The new school would have a full-size gym, a two-story classroom wing and 120 square feet per student. Students could attend the old school while the new one is under construction.
Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of closing Huntington Road to give students access to the fields without crossing the street.
Next steps would be as follows:
- Architects will examine the costs of each option
- The Board will investigate how the project could be financed.
- An extensive public outreach process will be designed to get input from residents, parents and all community stakeholders.
Though time was tight, residents asked a few questions.
Barbara Wenglin of Brewster Road asked if the special needs students at the school were causing additional stress for space. The superintendent replied that special education students were evenly distributed across the district. Wenglin said that though we "all want the best for the children," Greenacres has very little open space. George Field has become a retention basin and the playing fields are Greenacres only open area. She urged the board to "Keep Greenacres Green."
It is interesting to note that since the project will take years to complete it is doubtful whether children who now attend Greenacres will be there when the work is complete. However, there is concern among those whose homes border the school and the playing fields. Those homeowners fear the impact of the construction of a large new building in the midst of a residential neighborhood.
Take a look at the entire presentation from the architects here:
Annual Carnival is a Hit in Scarsdale
- Category: Around Town
- Published on 21 April 2015
- Written by Justin Doyno
The annual carnival took place on Friday and Saturday April 17th and 18th at Scarsdale High School. The weather was beautiful and brought out many families. There were fabulous rides and colorful booths and everyone seemed happy and excited to be there. Popcorn, hot dogs, funnel cakes and cotton candy were also part of the mix. Once again the carnival was a major success.Proceeds from the day will be donated to Afya International, Heifer International and the Peter C. Alderman Foundation.
Former STEP Student Keith Martinez honored with Truman Scholarship
- Category: People
- Published on 20 April 2015
- Written by Lori Gertzog
Villanova University Junior Keith Martinez, a Gates Millennium and Presidential Scholar from the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, was one of 58 students from across the nation named as a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced the names of the 2015 Scholars – from 50 U.S. colleges and universities. The Truman Scholarship Foundation recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to making a difference through public service.
Keith grew up on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe. Keith is a graduate of Scarsdale High School in NY, where he spent his last two years in the STEP program, an intensive college preparatory program for talented youth. Keith spent his first two years of High School at the Little Wound School in Kyle, SD. Keith is a junior at Villanova University.
Keith is Chair of the Youth Advisory Board for Lakota Children's Enrichment, a nonprofit that empowers youth in his home community on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Keith has received numerous awards for his service with LCE: he was named South Dakota's National Child Awareness Month Service Ambassador by Youth Service of America (2013-14); a Champion for Change by the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute (2014-15); and he is the recipient of a scholarship to the PPIA Summer Institute at Princeton University (2015). Keith frequently speaks about the power of education, seeking help and perseverance, and made his international speaking debut in the summer of 2014 at the Nexus Global Youth Summit at the United Nations.
Keith said of the appointment: "I am officially a 2015 Truman Scholar representing Villanova, my family, and the Native American youth out there who have a dream. Everyday I remind myself why I do what I do. That is, to make the future brighter for the youth that I know can reach their potential. I want to take this time to say that I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, it has been quite the journey to get to where I am today -- but my journey is not over, I look forward to the next chapter. I am glad to be in such amazing company at the Truman Foundation. I also want to take this time to say how extremely thankful I am for all those who support me and stand by my side everyday through the good times and the bad times. I want you all to know that this wouldn't be possible without you and that words alone can not describe how truly grateful I am."
LCE President Maggie Dunne, 24, who founded LCE when she was a student at Scarsdale High School said: "We are so proud of Keith for continuing to support his community, while also pursuing higher education at Villanova University. I founded Lakota Children's Enrichment to elevate the voices of Native Youth, to encourage talented future leaders like Keith Martinez to set big goals, and to help open doors to make those dreams come true. Keith was LCE's first youth advisor, and went on to Co-Found and Chair LCE's Youth Advisory Board, a group that helps LCE shape its programs on the Reservation. The growing successes of the Youth Board members rising behind Keith are a testimony to the success of LCE's collaborative approach working with the community to help youth reach their goals, and to the critical role that Keith serves by demonstrating by example that with hard work and focus, dreams can come true."
About Lakota Children's Enrichment
Lakota Children's Enrichment is a for-purpose nonprofit that provides leadership and mentorship opportunities to youth from the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD. LCE works collaboratively with community groups and a Youth Board to create and produce opportunities for community service, arts, literacy, leadership and mentorship. LCE's premiere programs include: an annual Writing and Art Challenge, which has the support of renowned panel of judges; Youth Summits that provide opportunities for expression in the arts, education, mentorship, leadership and always incorporate community service; and a Youth Advisory Board from across the Reservation, who help create new programs. LCE further provides essential support and services to help community members implement programs benefitting Native Youth, and educates people about the obstacles facing America's first peoples today.
About the Scarsdale STEP Program
The Scarsdale Transfer Education Program ("STEP") is a two year college preparatory program for promising students of color (including those of Native American heritage) who may benefit from Scarsdale's challenging academic environment. STEP prepares these students for positions of leadership and responsibility in their college years and beyond. Keith Martinez was the first representative from the Oglala Lakota on Pine Ridge Reservation to participate in the program. In the Fall of 2015, STEP will welcome LCE Youth Board Vice Chair Summer Montileaux to the program!
About the Truman Scholarship
The Truman Scholars were chosen by 17 independent selection panels on the basis of their academic and leadership accomplishments and their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. Selection panels met across the U.S. and included distinguished leaders, university presidents, elected officials, federal judges, prominent public servants, and past Truman Scholarship winners. The 2015 Truman Scholars will assemble in May for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.
Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.
The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the thirty-third President, Harry S. Truman. The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the US Treasury.
Peter Strauss Honored at 2015 Scarsdale Bowl Dinner
- Category: Events
- Published on 23 April 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
You could not total the number of volunteer years of service of the 275 attendees at the 2015 Scarsdale Bowl dinner, a celebration of community volunteerism and the 2015 Bowl Winner, Peter Strauss. Strauss alone has put in 48 years volunteering for 25 different civic organizations and committees, his wife Laura has more than done her part since moving to town in 1966, and all the committee members and friends who offered tributes and attended have impressive records themselves.
Strauss served as Mayor of Scarsdale from 2005-7 and Village Trustee from 2001-5. He is proud of his role in developing downtown Scarsdale, installing more legible street signs and working on the new headquarters for the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, chaired the Village Advisory Council on Human Relations, on the Procedure Committee and is a firm believer in the non-partisan system.
Held on April 22 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle, the event was led by Scarsdale Bowl Committee Chair, and now newly-elected Scarsdale Mayor Jon Mark. He greeted guests by recognizing Strauss's extraordinary service and acknowledging all the attendees who "make Scarsdale the exceptional community that it is." He thanked the Bowl Committee for their work and named the recipients of the former Bowl winners who were in attendance at the event. He singled out Jane Veron who served on the Bowl Committee and also as the liaison to the Scarsdale Foundation for going "above and beyond." He also noted the contributions of Bowl Treasurer Robert Jeremiah, Foundation President Evelyn Stock and last year's Bowl Chair David Brodsky.
Scarsdale Foundation President Evelyn Stock thanked Peter Strauss for "giving unselfishly of time, energy and effort to the community." Speaking about the work of the Scarsdale Foundation she discussed need-based scholarship for college students, support for SVAC and Scarsdale and Edgemont Family Counseling. She quoted Richard Toder who said, "When some of our neighbors are hurting and in need of our help, we try to be there. This help is what makes our community so special. We care."
She noted that Strauss' many volunteer commitments extend beyond on Scarsdale. On a recent visit to the White Plains Hospital emergency room she spotted Strauss, who volunteers there, and brought her lunch.
Stock then extolled the benefits of volunteering telling the room, "You know it is now okay to have chocolate, eggs—the whole egg, red meat, and wine. And we learned long ago the benefits of volunteering include new friends and contacts, and improved social, relationship and job skills. But now new studies have demonstrated that volunteering benefits your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Volunteers experience a euphoric rush that releases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. The health benefits include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes as well as lower cholesterol levels... Harvard Medical School reports adults over age 50 who volunteer regularly are less likely to develop high blood pressure. A Carnegie Mellon study put a number to it--200 hours of volunteering per year correlated to lower blood pressure. Volunteering may reduce stress. ... Now we must admit that eggs, red meat, wine and chocolate (even dark chocolate) must be eaten or drunk in moderation. But... moderation is not needed for volunteering. Think-- you could live forever."
Former Bowl recipient Carl Pforzheimer III discussed the long hours Strauss put in when he was Mayor, and said that Strauss served with "elegance, discretion and dignity, working devoutly for the public." He quoted a trustee who worked with Strauss who said, "when Peter became mayor, he literally moved into Village Hall. The mayor's office was resurrected and Peter put in standard 8 hour days doing the people's work. His daily, on-site management style has never been duplicated before or since." Another said that Peter did a shift on the snowplows on a snowy winter night. Pforzheimer said "Peter did his homework every time. He didn't just read, he studied, he consulted with others, he came to a reasoned opinion. You could agree or disagree with that opinion, but you didn't need to question its authenticity of design."
Laura Strauss has been married to Peter for 52 years and described him as "20% small town American" with the balance distinctly German. Struass immigrated to the United States from Germany when he was 7 years old. She noted his work ethic, persistence and optimism and said he was devoted to family, even keeping a photo of his "mother-in-law on his desk." He was an involved dad and coach to their two daughters who attended the dinner with their children. Carolyn Strauss travelled from California where she is the Executive Producer of the hit television series Game of Thrones, and many fans stopped by her table to meet and greet her and her son Owen. Younger daughter Diana drove down from Brunswick Maine with her husband Kevin and two adorable daughters, Ruby Rose, 6 and Gemma Grace 4. Laura noted that Owen, now 12, was given an assignment to write a paper about his hero. He chose his Grandapa a Peter, and said that he was "kind and generous" and added that she agrees.
Lifelong friend and Scarsdale resident Victor Goldberg remembered delicious dinners at the Strauss home with a "seemingly limitless bar." He laughed about driving home after an evening of Peter's mixology and marveled that they survived. He thought of those nights often, especially when Strauss become Police Commissioner. He said that his wife was a great admirer of Peter's – calling him "elegant, well-groomed" and even "nice." He said that as Mayor, Peter knew everyone's name from the staff, to the firefighters and the water department personnel. He noted his drive for more readable street signs, saying they were Peter's way of "planning for the old age of his friends." Goldberg credited Strauss's sense of fairness, empathy, dedication, pride in his family and loyalty to friends old and new.
After a slow to emerge dinner and a long night of tributes Strauss took the stage to receive the bowl from Jon Mark and make his remarks. He told the group that his family came to America 79 years ago from Germany when his parents, ages 37 and 31 sought a better life for their family. A Scarsdale resident for 49 years, he said that Scarsdale has "been the source of a wonderful group of friends and multiple opportunities to participate in community activities." He remembered conducting difficult and contentious meetings to clear the way for a group home of mentally disabled residents, working on recommendations to improve and develop the downtown area and serving as trustee and mayor when he came to appreciate the contributions of village staff and realize that we live in a "special community."
He said that we must work hard to generate quality volunteerism to preserve the "positive aspects of our special community." He thanked everyone for honoring him with the Scarsdale Bowl and for coming out to recognize him.
NY Times Journalist Elisabeth Bumiller to Speak at the LWVS Luncheon
- Category: People
- Published on 13 April 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Elisabeth Bumiller, the Washington Editor of The New York Times, will speak at the Scarsdale League of Women Voters Annual Spring Luncheon on May 8th. Kerry Kennedy, originally scheduled to speak, cancelled due to a family commitment.
A leading journalist and author and frequent commentator on politics and government policy, Ms. Bumiller will speak about Women in Politics.
Previously, Ms. Bumiller was the deputy Washington Bureau Chief for the Times, where she oversaw White House and domestic policy reporting. She was a Pentagon correspondent from 2008 to early 2013, a position through which she traveled frequently with the Secretary of Defense and embedded with the American military in Afghanistan. In 2008, she covered the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. She was a White House correspondent from September 2001 to 2006 and also wrote a weekly column, White House Letter, about the people and behind-the-scenes events of the presidency.
Ms. Bumiller has also served as the Times City Hall Bureau chief responsible for covering Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was a general assignment reporter on the Times' Metropolitan staff.
Ms. Bumiller is the author of three books: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life; May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India; and The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family.
Ms. Bumiller graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
The public is invited to the Scarsdale League's annual spring luncheon.
The luncheon, which will follow the League's annual meeting, will be held at the Scarsdale Golf Club on May 8, 2015, at 11:45AM. Admission is $40 ($45 at the door), High School and college students discounted to $20. Please RSVP by May 5 to: Anne Lyons, 82 Greenacres Avenue, Scarsdale, NY 10583 or online at lwvs.org., Event Tickets. Questions: please contact Anne Lyons, email@example.com.