The lawyer for Simone Development Companies, whose $12.5 million for Number Six School was accepted by the Lawrence School Board, vowed that the developer’s proposed facility “won’t be a burden to the community.”
“The goal is to make the building nice and more attractive to neighbors and have the best doctors,” said Benjamin Weinstock, an attorney for Simone, which has five of these kinds of facilities running already.
Simone plans to leave the former Woodmere school building as is, but close off the entrance on Church Street and have the main door on the side facing Peninsula Boulevard and Branch Boulevard. Landscaping and buffering will also be done to make it more appealing, with the lights facing inward. The playground would be relocated and enhanced. Total renovations would cost $20 million.
(None of the property is in Cedarhurst, said Weinstock, who is also deputy mayor of the village.)
The current ball fields will be paved over to make way for a 450-spot parking lot. Weinstock said the facility would need about 300 spots. Only right turns would be permitted on Peninsula.
In terms of traffic, Weinstock said about 150 vehicles are anticipated to arrive every hour, with 150 exiting. A high school would see 1,500 cars arrive and leave in the morning, with more staggered traffic during dismissal time, according to Weinstock. The required parking lot for the high school would also only leave about a half acre of ball fields, he claimed.
The facility would be open seven days a week, with a 7:30 a.m. opening on weekdays for labs, with doctors arriving at 8:30 a.m. The facility would close between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Weekend hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If the community approves the referendum on March 20, Simone will have to get approval from the Town of Hempstead on a site plan and zoning change. That step would take about eight months to a year. Construction would take another year.
The Lawrence School District will host a town hall meeting on Simone’s proposal on Feb. 27, where the project’s architect, engineers, traffic experts, principals and others will speak.
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