Despite reservations from some residents, Community Board 7 voted in favor of Columbia Grammar & Prep’s expansion at the Jan. 5 full board meeting.
Following several revisions and meetings with community members, Board 7’s Park’s & Preservation Committee issued a resolution describing the one-story extension as “relatively minimally intrusive to the character of the donut”—the area of common green space behind the school—“and to the views, light and air, and quality of life for the neighbors.”
At the meeting, Dr. Richard Soghoian, the school’s headmaster, detailed the revisions, which included enclosing the air handler that produces a humming sound audible to nearby houses.
“It’s going to be where you ideally wanted it—under the stairs,” Soghoian said.
In response to complaints about the noise students make as they assemble behind the school in the morning, he added that children will now gather in an enclosed space.
“There will be no noise at the most troublesome time of the day, when we have gotten the most of the complaints,” he said.
The vote in favor of Columbia Grammar’s expansion application was 26 to eight, with one abstention.
Despite the modifications, there were some residents that griped about the extension.
“The noise is incessant,” said Diana Pinover, a 23-year resident of 333 Central Park West. “The buses and the SUVs and the general blight on our neighborhood has grown over time.”
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