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.


  • 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
  • Dov Herman March 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM
    Watch Al D'Agastiono lose it and go Bonkers at 3:51 http://rock-prog.org/2010/03/989/
    Dov Herman March 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM
    2:05 into the video watch D'Agastino rush a parent speaker and threaten him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74T0j_X6-HM&feature=player_embedded
    ftptch March 18, 2013 at 01:08 AM
    dose any1 think all the signs r abnoxious.................myhusband got a third flier in mail yesterday saying all my neghbors r voting no y dont i......................and that my vote is private.............................obviusly not if my neghbors r going 2 know how i vote................................................vote yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! march 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dov Herman March 18, 2013 at 01:12 AM
    I think placing a mega medical center in a residential quiet area is obnoxious . We will let everyone know how we feel to protect our peaceful neighborhood. If you want the signs and fliers to end, simply vote no. This is the only way.
    inwood queens Resident March 18, 2013 at 04:27 AM
    It's not obnoxious it's helping make people aware about the Vote they actually are getting a lot of people that want it to come out and vote against them. I did notice they go and put those things everywhere and a few hours later they are gone LoL I guess those people they thought are with them voting No don't like someone putting signs are their property. Still Voting Yes
    Dov Herman March 18, 2013 at 04:31 AM
    What's actually happening is , the signs are going up then the Lawrence PTA has mobilized a team to remove them.
    inwood queens Resident March 18, 2013 at 04:36 AM
    You make it sound like they are going to build a huge building but they aren't even going to add to what's there. I still Don't see how this will change the neighborhood the people who live in the back won't even see any traffic it will be fenced with only entrances off Branch and Penninsula. As for the signs and flyers you make it kinda sound like a threat. Your not the kind of person that should be threatening people.
    Dov Herman March 18, 2013 at 04:42 AM
    Hmmm , you obviously dont understand the facts so its not worth continuing with your nonsense. As far as what you term a "threat" its nothing of the sort. We will continue to place signs and get the word out until its voted down . If by some chance its voted yrs, we will tie it up in court for years and it will. Never be built. I dont see either statement as a threat but as fact. I won't be engaging you in any further conversation because its pointless and useless. Good luck and may the best man win.
    inwood queens Resident March 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM
    That's not what it sounded like. Sounded like they would continue until you got what you wanted. Oh taking your Ball and going home I see.
    ftptch March 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
    u say let the bgest man win but u alredy said if it passes u will fight it until it doesnot build.......................................just admit it.......................let u win!!!!! keep wasting moneys putting signs up.....................................we will b sur 2 take them down................................................ vote yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!march 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ftptch March 18, 2013 at 01:19 PM
    its obnxious wen there r signs every foot on peninsula......................
    Jacob S. March 18, 2013 at 07:06 PM
    All those Articles by Anessa Cohen in the 5TJT (really just self advertising) are Making Me sick, as well as her intolerance for those who disagree that there are benefits to this high tech medical facility. According to Vanessa we aren't getting 12 million, We aren't getting 1 Million a year in Taxes, No one Needs medical Care anyway. Blah Blah. There are Valid Reasons to Vote No. But Don't Make Up Reasons To do so.
    inwood queens Resident March 18, 2013 at 07:21 PM
    A question for everyone If you had a choice of what to put at Number 6 school what would it be? My Choice would have been Affordable Housing...
    morris March 18, 2013 at 07:27 PM
    Hopefully this will be voted down so we can have an educated and civil discussion on what should replace the empty school. I think we all can agree that the way this was presented to us was wrong.
    Anna D'Argento March 18, 2013 at 08:31 PM
    Hi inwood queens Resident, I agree; I would also rather see residential units at the site: I think there's a need for affordable apartments (condos/rentals) - especially for young families who are just starting out. This ties into the Daily News article I posted earlier. You asked what it has to do with selling the school - and I didn't get a chance to respond until now. The article described a prior purchase/resale of Simone's, in which he bought a parcel in the Bronx for $2M and then tried to "flip" it to NYC for $92M (a 4,500% profit), then settled for about half of that (i.e. $46M or 2,250% profit). On this we agree: if I could make a windfall like that, I would, too. Look, Mr. Simone is obviously no dummy when it comes to making a killing in real estate. But if there IS a killing to be made on THIS property, I'd rather it be made by our school district and we, the taxpayers. Hey, I am by no means a real-estate expert (I'm not even a real-estate novelist). But I did some very, very rough math: if an average single-family home on a 60x100 lot in Woodmere goes for, say, $600K, and this school property is 6.67 acres or around 48 60x100 lots, then 48 X $600K comes to $28,800,000. Stack up some mutli-level, multi-unit housing, and perhaps even more can be squeezed out of it. As others have pointed out, nowhere in the contract is Mt. Sinai mentioned, and once the school is sold for $12.5M, the district and the taxpayers will have lost it forever.
    Jacob S. March 18, 2013 at 09:08 PM
    The School Board is Not allowed to Choose what is the Best Use for the Property. They are Required to Vote Based Upon what is Best for The School District Itself. This is why Mansdorf is Correct and Kaufman is Wrong. They can't sell it to their friends at the JCC or Halb and Reject a Higher Offer, even though many of us agree that that is our preference. That would be a Dereliction of their responsibilities to the School District. Mansdorf did what he was required to do, and he had No other choice. He gave the Decision to the Public to Vote on. If the public votes it down then a public discussion will take place and other bidders may come forward, for better or worse.
    Jacob S. March 18, 2013 at 09:08 PM
    People who Live in the Area have a Legitimate reason to be upset with the traffic. 60 Doctors there which I assume means 40 Doctors there on average at any one Time. If they see 5 patients an hour it equals Two Hundred Extra Cars per hour plus more for support services. The Truth is whether or Not You Despise Obamacare, Your Solo Doctor has been Legislated out of Existence, and all Doctors Know this. Reimbursement Cuts, Expensive Mandates for Medical Record systems, and other Laws are Forcing Doctors to join into groups. This Medical Center is an attempt to Leverage Local Doctors into a more efficient Provider of services. A centralized facility would avoid the Need for your doctor giving you a Prescription for "Find your own Blood Test and Diagnostic Test and get me the Results", Instead, you would go down the hall for the test, and they would accept your insurance since Miamonidies can Leverage your insurance company into actually paying.
    Jacob S. March 18, 2013 at 09:09 PM
    Part 2 The 5 Towns has an elderly population that needs medical care, and many children who would benefit from a more professionally run medical care facility that would accept insurance, instead of visiting your doctor in his rinky-dink office who refers you out to other experts as well. The Vote is a Balance between The Benefits and the Negatives, both of which are real. No one should be Demonized because they prefer one side versus the other. In fact I believe that if this actually passes, those who have demonized this by calling it a "Mega Medical Center" will have hurt their property values more than what this actually will turn out to be.
    ftptch March 18, 2013 at 09:10 PM
    this may b our last chance on getting it on tax rolls...........................
    Phal kong March 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
    Guys, there's no need to keep on debating about this issue. We've beaten it to death. We all know where we stand. Just show up and vote.
    Local Resident March 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM
    My first preference is to return the property to the children of the school district. The Board of Education needs to consider many factors into their decisions - not merely financial/tax rate factors. The public school parents were united in opposing the closure of this school. These parents should have been listened to and a different school, probably the one located on Cedarhurst Avenue, should have been slated for closure. My second choice would be residential properties, but in the aftermath of Sandy, I suspect the possibility of this happening in the near term is close to zero.
    inwood queens Resident March 19, 2013 at 02:39 AM
    Actually Jacob I think they have to take the highest bidder then let us vote. But what Mr. Kaufman argued at a meeting was why the board didn't drop the Med center after they dropped the sports complex that was the highest bidder. This School Board has done some shady stuff. I'm not picking on one nor am I saying this because of who they are it's just a fact. I thought that no one knew what anyone else was bidding but they said it the video that was posted on you tube it was a open bidding with everyone knowing what everyone else was bidding. Them they say the sports center didn't submit a check and it wasn't a legit bid. The lawyer for the sports center claims they did submit a check. Honestly I'm not sure who to trust anymore when it comes to the school board. Rumor has it that this whole process is under investigation and pass or fail someone's going to be arrested. All we can do is Vote and see how it plays out.
    inwood queens Resident March 19, 2013 at 02:45 AM
    A new High School for the Kids would be awesome wouldn't it. State of the Art class rooms, new gym, new science labs, new computer labs, indoor swimming pools domed sports field and enough outdoor sports fields so ever kid has a place to play public and private school. It's nice to dream and it I hit Power Ball Wednesday I will Pay for it.
    inwood queens Resident March 19, 2013 at 02:49 AM
    Phal it's not a debate it's a discussion. I think almost everyone knows how they are going to vote but some are still undecided and this is how people decide by hearing all side and making a informed decision.
    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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