EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – After more than a year of debate and discussion, Bronxville school officials have announced a special election for voters to determine whether or not to move forward with a flood mitigation project and field replacement near the Bronxville High School.
At their monthly meeting, the Bronxville Board of Education voted to include the two issues on a special election ballot on Thursday, Jan. 22. The first seeks the authorization to pay for the district’s 12.5 percent share of a $7 FEMA-approved flood mitigation project, while the second involves the installment of synthetic turf at Hayes Field.
Since 2007, Bronxville has endured nearly $30 million in damages during major storms due to periodic flooding in the Midland Valley Drainage Basin near the high school.
Last year, the village received a FEMA grant that will cover 75 percent of the $6.8 million project. Now, Bronxville Board of Education trustees must bring it to a public vote for residents to approve the local share of the project, which will total approximately $1.7 million.
Schools Superintendent David Quattrone said that it’s key for the public to approve both projects, which represent a compromise from all parties involved in its planning.
“These two proposals are inextricably linked. The flood mitigation project digs a hole in the ground, and the field replacement plan fills the hole in a way that protects the physical assets of the district,” he said. “The plan represents a thoughtful compromise among various constituencies and it addresses our field shortage, aesthetics and ongoing need for play space.”
According to Paul Pelusio, the engineer who is shaping this project, the plan includes installing a large network of pipes under Hayes Field that would detain floodwater and prevent it from backing up into the school, as it did in 2007, with disastrous results. The proposal also includes a dedicated pipe that would be installed behind Village Hall that would deliver storm water back into the Bronx River.
A storm water pumping station on the Midland Avenue side of the school would also be utilized during and after flooding. Due to construction, Hayes Field would be inaccessible during the spring sports season.
“The Bronxville Board of Education has been working on flood mitigation and field replacement for a number of years, the catalyst being the devastating impact of two so called ‘100-year floods,’ that occurred within the span of two years,” Board President Denise Tormey noted.
“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 advisers.”
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