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Skeptical Residents: Medical Center Doesn't Belong at No. 6 School

Representatives talk about building, traffic and advantages of proposed facility.

Skeptical residents told Simone and Mount Sinai representatives that the 60-doctor medical practice proposed at Number Six School does not belong in a residential area, despite the representatives’ claims that the facility would blend in with the community, not create a lot of extra traffic and employ local doctors.

“I don’t pay Nassau taxes to see my neighborhood over flooded,” said Nidia Mordejar. “Your numbers are sheer fantasy. You’re talking theory.”

The medical developer representatives told the crowd at Lawrence Middle School that the Number Six School building will be mostly kept as is, with landscaping and other building improvements. Entrances will be shifted to the side of building facing Peninsula Boulevard and Branch Boulevard, where a 450-car parking lot would replace the current ball fields.

Many residents have raised concerns about the potential traffic created by the facility, which will be open every day, but Cameron Engineering’s Rebecca Goldberg, who conducted a traffic study for Simone, claimed there would be “no perceptive change” in traffic in the area.

Observing traffic patterns both on Peninsula and at a similar WestMed facility in Rye, Goldberg said that over the course of the day, an additional 100 to 200 vehicles per hour would travel to the facility on local roads. On the weekends, only about 45 vehicles will travel to the facility per hour. In terms of parking, at peak time of about 10 a.m., 316 of the 450 spots will be filled.

The building will be power washed and cleaned up, and dumpsters will be hidden from public view, said architect Brian Newman, of Newman Design.

“Prior to anyone walking into that building, there will be internal demolition,” he said. “It will be 100 percent clean of mold.”

The facility will also meet FEMA standards and all mechanical systems will be moved, said Benjamin Weinstock, an attorney for Simone.

Residents also raised concerns that the developer will change the plans after the project is approved, but Weinstock said that “everything we say, we’re accountable for.”

Doctors from Mount Sinai and WestMed Medical Group, which will manage the proposed facility, talked up the advantages of having many doctors under the same roof.

“This is the kind of place you’d want your family to go to,” said Dr. Simeon Schwartz, founding president and CEO of WestMed. “World-class medicine in a convenient way.”

Schwartz said that patients would be able to meet more of their medical needs in the same day with relative ease, and an urgent care center at the facility will help people avoid the ER. The facility will utilize electronic medical records and link up with Mount Sinai’s main campus. He added that 65 local physicians have expressed interest in joining the practice.

Dr. Arthur Klein, president of Mount Sinai Medical Network, said that independent doctors have a hard time expanding.

“Mount Sinai has a long history of interest in community health. We have to change the way we do healthcare — we can’t do healthcare in the expensive facilities,” he said. “Most doctors are looking for more modern ways to treat patients.”

In addition to the 60 doctors, 100 employees will also be hired. There will be no clerical staff at the facility. Phone calls will be handled off site.

Weinstock, who has represented Simone for about 10 years, assured the crowd that the facility “is not a medical office building. This is a group practice.”

Weinstock also refuted claims that the facility will only give back $35 to households on their tax bills, saying the number is closer to $100.

Meanwhile, other residents at the meeting voiced support for the project, and questioned the motives of the opponents.

A public referendum on Simone’s proposed medical facility will be held on March 20. If the public gives Simone the go ahead, it still must seek variances from the Town of Hempstead.

RELATED:

  • Lawrence School Board Accepts Developer's Bid for No. 6 School
  • Medical Developer Plans to Have 60 Doctors at No. 6 Site
  • Local Doctors to Play into Proposed Mt. Sinai Facility
  • Highest Bid for No. 6 School Turned Down by Board Committee
  • Group Assembles to Oppose Proposed Medical Facility
  • Josh Santos March 19, 2013 at 06:00 AM
    I happen to live around 500 ft from the school. I went there 4 years ago. I was part of the first set of 5th graders to be pushed into LMS. But anyways, I'm not too happy about this. Sure we have had school buses carrying lots of children to school daily and we didnt complain, but the fact is, blaring sirens 24/7 in the middle of a relatively quiet neighborhood are much more irritating than a bus bringing children in 5 days a week for only 8 hours. It makes no sense in my opinion. I'm not concerned too much about the financial aspect of it, due to my age, but this will be a very difficult thing to adjust to. Traffic isn't always that bad. I can cross Peninsula blvd. every day without any issue or worry during any time of day. Add around 100-200 more cars a day, plus rushing ambulances, walking might seem Impractical and possibly dangerous. About North Woodmere park, many little league games are played in #6's field. Usually 2-3 at a time. How could someone possibly manage to squeeze 2-3 games into one baseball field? Plus, the hospital can fail just as much as any other hospital can in this economy. But I wont go into depth on that subject because I'm inexperienced in financial issues. But, do you get my point? I hate racism with a passion, being the multi racial teen that I am, so those racist vote NO flyers have to stop. Find a better reason. But basically, my concern here is comfort and adjustment.
    Jacob S. March 19, 2013 at 01:39 PM
    I understand and can appreciate the feelings of those like Josh Santos, nearby. But as you are aware this is a collection of Doctors Offices, It Does Not Have an Emergency Room and Ambulances cannot take emergency patients there. Its a place for a Stitches, a cast, and other diagnostic tests. Can You honestly say that you are satisfied with the medical care in the 5 Towns? The doctors who treat these offices as part time adjuncts to their Manhattan offices? Are you able to easily find a doctor that accepts your insurance? Maybe this Medical Center Does Not Belong There. But a Debate on Medical Services in this community should take place.
    Anna D'Argento March 19, 2013 at 02:10 PM
    Hi Jacob S., You wrote "...Its a place for a Stitches, a cast, and other diagnostic tests. Can You honestly say that you are satisfied with the medical care in the 5 Towns? The doctors who treat these offices as part time adjuncts to their Manhattan offices? Are you able to easily find a doctor that accepts your insurance? Maybe this Medical Center Does Not Belong There. But a Debate on Medical Services in this community should take place." I agree with you about the current state of medical services in the Five Towns, but isn't a place like that already opening on Peninsula? I'm confused.
    ftptch March 19, 2013 at 03:48 PM
    anna that is a urgent care..........................not same as medical center.......................................urgent care is if ur dr is closed and u dont need emergency room..................................medical center is alot of drs in 1 bldg..............
    Kathryn Mennella March 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM
    Enough with the phone calls already....it borders on harrassment.....I am still voting yes

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