Bronxville Union Free School District

Board Sets Special Election for Flood Mitigation and Field Replacement

Continued review is likely to lead to further modifications based on community input and collaboration with the Village.

The Bronxville Board of Education voted to place two related issues on the ballot on January 22, 2015. The first issue seeks authorization to pay for the 12.5% District share of a $7 million flood mitigation project approved by FEMA. The second issue calls for the release of existing construction reserve funds to replace the current field with synthetic turf.

Board President Denise Tormey explained the background and purpose of these proposals:

The Bronxville Board of Education has been working on Flood Mitigation and Field Replacement for a number of years. The catalyst for the flood remediation project was the devastating impact of two so-called "100-year floods" that occurred within the span of four years. These two events caused total damages in excess of $30 million, disrupted school and co-curricular activities for weeks or months, and wreaked havoc on the school and neighboring residences alike. The current plan is the result of extensive work on the part of the District's facilities committee, representatives of the Village, our engineering and architectural consultants, and other advisors.

The flood remediation project involves the installation of water retention tanks on district property (underneath the current Hayes Field) and the construction of a pump house on the Midland Avenue side of the property. Of necessity, this project involves digging up Hayes Field, a factor that led the Board to consider a number of options for reconfiguring the field in order to address the District's chronic shortage of field space.

Among our key responsibilities as a Board is to evaluate how we spend the financial resources available to the District against the benefit we seek to provide to our students. In discharging this responsibility we seek and welcome the involvement of parents and community members.

The two proposed projects represent the outcome of a lengthy and productive dialogue among the District, the Village of Bronxville, parents, and community members. These participants have carried out extensive work, and that work is ongoing. This Board has carefully considered all information available to it, and has balanced the requests and comments received from all quarters. Our Board is solidly behind both projects. That said, we will continue to work with the Village and the professional consultants to refine certain details. Those details include the placement and number of parking spaces, final configuration of the Elementary School play area, and the type of infill material to be used on Hayes Field. We are confident that the final design will represent the very best outcome we can provide while making sure we achieve the overarching goals of mitigating the potential impact of future floods, maximizing the use of our limited acreage to address the shortage of field space, and maintaining a safe and attractive area for all users of our campus.

All seven Board members supported synthetic turf as the best approach for field replacement, but they also welcomed additional community input in the weeks ahead.

After the meeting, Superintendent David Quattrone commented, "These two proposals are inextricably linked. The flood mitigation project digs a hole in the ground; the field replacement plan fills the hole in a way that protects the physical assets of the District and meets the needs of K-12 students and residents.  Both elements are necessary in order to move forward with a comprehensive approach. The plan reflects a thoughtful compromise among various constituencies. It addresses our field shortage, beautification and aesthetics, and ongoing need for play space.  By using existing construction reserves, the plan avoids an additional tax burden.  All in all, we have taken multiple perspectives into account.  We will also continue to work with the Village in order to find additional parking and adjust the plan accordingly."