Byram Resident: New Leb “Plan B Makes No Sense at All

ball field or Town Green in Byram

Letter submitted by Judy Crystal, Byram

Please consider carefully the (probably) unintended effects of your decision regarding the New Lebanon School.  While I am sad that the “elephant in the room” will not be addressed and, therefore, the proposed school must be outsized in an attempt to meet the state determined proper ethnic mix, I understand the political difficulties and accept the creation of a large magnet school.

However, the proposed scale and Plan B setting of a new school building makes no sense at all.  The architect’s rendering ignores the east/west orientation of the building, which will insure the proposed “campus” will spend half the school day (more than half in winter) in darkness.  Think slippery not green and welcoming.

The size as shown in their plan will dwarf the currently airy children’s section of the library, rendering it dark and dreary.  And, the parking, as stated in the plan, makes no sense –  which should be visible to anyone who visits the library.

I’m afraid that shortsighted, perhaps politically motivated, individuals are manipulating the parents whose loud cries I have heard on several occasions.

First of all, an operating school next to a major construction site is an accident waiting to happen.  This should be clear to anyone who has ever raised a child.

What fun to sneak around barriers on the walk from school to home – or to the library.  And the noise as construction begins will offer constant distraction!  I believe the children will be safer in modular buildings or unused space in other schools.  Surely our buildings department have learned enough from the Hamilton Avenue fiasco to ensure that modular classrooms can be maintained safely.

As I understand, the children will vacate the current school building for two years.  This is not a lifelong sentence.  Should a grade be integrated in another Greenwich school it might raise the comfort level when those students meet again at Greenwich High.  The current school building has been in use for a half century.  Let’s think about two years in that time frame.  Or in the lives of the children involved.  And…we’re not talking about bussing kids to Bridgeport.

As to the “walk to school” contingent, I urge you to visit the area at the times of morning arrival or afternoon dismissal.  It is a concept honored more in fantasy than reality.  Count the cars!

I will not address the insanity of isolated “playing fields” located close to I-95 and hidden from view of the neighborhood.  Lighting the area only makes it more visible to those driving by on the highway…an invitation?

Finally, please think carefully about giving in to those who yell the loudest.  There are good people who truly believe they are right, but there are others who manipulate fears and ignorance to achieve personal goals.  It is time to rebuild the New Lebanon School.  It is too small.  It is outdated.  It is in the right location.

Thank you for the time and effort you are giving to this project – and to future generations.