Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 01 October 2010 00:00
If you want to voice your opinion about the St. Paul’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), time is running out. Residents will have one last chance to speak to the board of trustees during the second public hearing on the DEIS, which takes place on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall.
A packed crowd of Long Islanders turned out for the first public hearing on Aug. 19. While the majority of attendees spoke out in opposition of the demolition of the school, two residents stood their ground and said they were in favor of tearing down St. Paul’s.
In 2009, the village board, as the lead agency and owner of St. Paul’s School, issued a positive declaration requiring the preparation of a DEIS for the proposed demolition of St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall. To ensure a comprehensive environmental review in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the potential environmental impacts associated with the demolition were evaluated in the DEIS, which was prepared and ultimately accepted by the board of trustees on June 17, 2010.
This past June, the Committee to Save St. Paul’s (CSSP) and Garden City Historical Society presented an alternative plan that would save St. Paul’s from demolition. The proposal calls to establish a conservancy and would require an $8 million preservation and renovation of the building’s exterior and rehabilitation of major rooms on the first floor and chapel, which the Committee says would cost the same or even less than the demolition.
At a recent board of trustees meeting, EPOA President Walter McKenna asked if the Public Information Committee would release the revised estimates on the cost of demolition of St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall to the public. Trustee Brian Daughney reported that two very preliminary bids were received. “At the time, we just wanted to have some reference point as to what the cost might be, given that the St. Paul’s Committee [CSSP] proposal is based on a demolition cost...one preliminary bid was approximately 2.4 million and the second was approximately 1.3 [million]. Again those were preliminary, they were just informal informational bids,” Daughney said.
Superintendent of Buildings Michael Filippon clarified that the estimates were not official bids. “This was not a bid. This was essentially a request for an informal estimate. And the two companies are very well known, very experienced in this kind of work. It was an unusual spread between the numbers, one was around million and a half, and the other one was around two and a half. At the appropriate time if the board chooses to go forward, we’re getting actual bid prices this project would have to go out for bid and at that time you would get a much more detailed process,” he explained, adding, “It gave us range of what we were to expect if through a formal bidding process.”
Copies of the document can be obtained at Village Hall for a cost of $3 on CD, as well as at the Garden City Public Library and on the village’s website at www.garden cityny.net/gcvillage.htm.