Thursday, July 17, 2008

Complaints Over PS 113 Expansion

By Conor Greene
The Forum West

GLENDALE – Complaints have been filed with the city Department of Building and School Construction Authority due to alleged after-hours work at site, sometimes as late as 11:30 p.m.

The issue was raised at last Wednesday’s Community Board 5 meeting by Brian Dooley, president of the Glendale Property Owners Association. Dooley submitted to the board a letter from resident Bob Rabold, who says he’s been subjected to “continual after hours work occurring without the proper permits posted.”

In response, the community board submitted a complaint to the city Department of Buildings “just to be careful” and discussed the issue with a project support manager at the School Construction Authority, according to the board’s district manager, Gary Giordano. He was told that the contractor removing asbestos from the property “was recently working nights at times later than the SCA normally allows because he is trying to get the work done and get a pickup from the carting company.”

“That’s not work I think they want to do when school is in session, even at night, so it looks to me like they are trying to get that done over the summer,” said Giordano. “Whether it’s the school year or [summer], once you start getting past 10 p.m. with any kind of construction that people can hear, it infringes on their sleep. To minimize anything after 9 p.m. is important.”

Rabold, who lives across the street from the property, questions whether the contractors,Iannelli Construction, ever received the property after-hours permits from the DOB. “If they did, I’m sure they would be posted,” he wrote. Rabold notes that work continued until after 11:30 p.m. on July 7, at which time he lodged a complaint with 311.

“Regrettably, I understand that contractors hired by individuals try to circumvent the law by taking short cuts, but I cannot understand when a department under jurisdiction of the governing body who passes the law allows their contractors to ignore and disobey the law,” wrote Rebold.

News of the late-night work didn’t sit well with some board members who accuse the SCA of not considering the impact their projects have on the neighborhood. “They came in and sold use a bill of goods that it’s not going to impact the neighbors,” said Kathy Masi. “They’re terrible. They’ve never been good to their word.”

Dooley stressed that he is “absolutely for the project, for alleviating overcrowding in schools, especially that school,” but noted that “there are people living literally twenty-five feet from that site.”

On Tuesday, Marge Feinberg, a Department of Education spokeswoman, said that the SCA “has reached out to the neighbors [and] understands their concerns.” She said that work has, and will continue, to only take place within the hours set by DOB. “They said they have not been working outside what is allowable,” she said.

The project includes an addition to the existing building and asbestos abatement, according to Feinberg. Giordano said that he hasn’t received any recent complaints regarding the other two local school construction projects, PS 49 and PS 128, both in Middle Village.

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