What is the Current Condition of the Greenacres School?
At the time that the District's successful 2014 bond was first being considered, the architectural firm KG&D conducted a feasibility study of Greenacres.
KG&D began by giving Greenacres a survey of the entire structure from foundation to roof, and determined that the building had been well-maintained. Careful maintenance has extended the "useful life" (parameters set by experts in the field) of various components of the building, such as the slate roof, windows, and mechanical systems.
Next, a checklist was reviewed of building code compliance issues and expectations, including:
- Classroom square footage
- Ventilation and air quality
- Fire safety
- Toilet facilities and plumbing
- ADA accessibility (including door widths, obstructions, counter heights, etc.)
- Energy efficiency
Although the overall building was determined to be sound, the review did reveal some problematic areas, particularly in light of our goal to provide a 21st century educational environment for our students. One of the issues is the small size of classrooms. Teaching approaches have changed significantly in the last 100 years; for example, classroom desks are no longer set up in rows but in clusters; extra room is needed for science and other projects and use of technology; and special needs inclusion practice requires adequate space for children and their aides.
Moreover, the building has been divided and subdivided over time to accommodate changing programmatic and student needs. Computer labs, student service offices, Maker Spaces and the like are all staples of today’s education; however, these additions have resulted in a reduction in traditional classroom space.
Greenacres Feasibility Study Archives
Why Weren't These Conditions Addressed in the 2014 Bond?
The original Greenacres Building Committee was convened during the course of Districtwide planning for the December 2014 Bond Referendum. At that time, the Committee reviewed the feasibility study and concluded that the scope of work was too great to be addressed within parameters of the 2014 bond. The Committee recommended that the future of Greenacres would require further study and should be addressed in a future bond.
Is Overcrowding at Greenacres an Issue?
Although some classrooms are smaller than those at the other elementary schools in Scarsdale, Greenacres students are satisfactorily accommodated. There have been reports that students are forced to sit on the floor due to lack of classroom space for desks/tables and chairs; however, this is not true. It's possible that this misconception arose from individuals seeing or hearing about students sitting on the floor (usually on special rugs), which is a normal part of the school day for younger grades throughout the District. This technique has been found to help focus student attention and, in many cases, allows students to access Smartboards and other technology.
What About Moisture or Mold in the Building?
A major challenge facing Greenacres is moisture. The dirt crawl spaces and basement underneath the building generate significant humidity, which is controlled through the constant use of dehumidifiers. Without this continuous monitoring and mitigating, this moisture could result in serious issues affecting air quality, structural integrity, and maintenance..
It should be noted that repeated testing by both District staff and outside consultants has shown that there is no significant mold problem at this time. Concerns about mold throughout the District are addressed with inspections from outside experts.
To learn more about Scarsdale's facilities, bond updates, and Greenacres information, please visit our Facilities website pages here.