My office has received the Draft Environmental Impact Statement –construction of a single k-6 school on the Warburg campus from the Central 7 School district (which is an independent elected governing body—not under the jurisdiction of the Town Board). The report indicates that the construction would result in the closing of the Highview and Bailey schools. “The relatively large size of the Bailey building and its sturdy construction would make its demolition relatively costly. Therefore, the highest and best use of that site under a scenario in which the site is put up for bid would most likely entail its reuse rather than replacement.” A copy of this report is available at my office or at the Central 7 School district offices.
The BaileySchoolis over 70,000 sq feet. The Greenburgh Library wants 50,000 sq feet. If the Central 7 School district approves the proposal to construct a single k-6 school on the Warburg campus then the town could bid for the opportunity to purchase the school for the library. We would then be able to sell the old town hall and current library – putting both buildings on the tax rolls. The purchase of the BaileySchoolproperty and renovation for library purposes might be significantly less expensive then expanding the library at the current site. In addition, there would be no interruption of service to library patrons during the construction period. We could build a library at Bailey. When the library construction is finished the library could move out of our current building. My guess is that we could save between $5 to $10 million dollars and have a building that is nicer (the beautiful Riley Pond is located in back of Bailey).
Kevin Morgan, a member of the Planning Board recently recommended that the town explore the possibility of using about 20,000 sq feet of the BaileySchoolfor affordable housing. The Villageof Irvingtonrenovated the BurnhamBuildingand turned the building into a library/affordable housing ----receiving over one million dollars from the county to construct affordable housing. If we put affordable housing at the site, part of the building would be placed on the tax rolls as well –generating more revenue for the town and reducing the costs of the library expansion. Since the BaileySchoolis historical there may be additional state/federal funds that might be available to the town, reducing the costs to the town for the library expansion.
ANOTHER REASON TO DELAY THE 20 MILLION LIBRARY EXPANSION REFERENDUM TILL NOVEMBER! Other options can be explored. The Town Board is scheduled to vote on the library expansion referendum date on March 9th at Town Hall at 7:15 PM.