Saturday, March 15, 2014

From the Response to Comments: what will be impact of construction on planned school playground?

I've going through the Response to Comments document produced by Empire State Development to accompany the release last month of the Final Scope for a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement. (The SEIS is coming in the spring.)

One comment regarded the placement of the planned school playground, likely in the first tower built over the Vanderbilt Yard (B5, just east of Sixth Avenue, between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue), and the impact of ongoing project construction.

Note that B15, east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets, might be built last, and thus have some impact on construction.

The comment:
Comment 81: The SEIS should explain where the public school playground will be located at the time the school is constructed within the project site. According to project documents, the school is likely to be located in the first building constructed in Phase II. The study should describe the minimum suitable square footage for the school population, its proximity to the school and other features such as planting, materials and equipment. The study should assess ongoing project construction impacts such as noise, air quality and vibrations that would affect conditions at the playground. The SEIS should also study the impacts of the parking lot and staging area in the event that the school is located on block 1129.
While the Draft Scope of Work will update public school enrollment and capacity data, it should be noted that construction of the school facility is not predicated on a threshold being met for enrollment or capacity within the study area. Further, there is no date for the commencement of the first Phase II building to assess against the need for additional public school capacity within the study area. Therefore, the SEIS should make the conservative assumption that the school will be needed at the time the first Phase II building is constructed. (Brooklyn Speaks)
The response:
Response: The location and programming for the public school playground will be determined as appropriate by DOE in consultation with the project sponsors. The Project Description of the SEIS will describe the Phase II program, including the potential locations for the proposed public school. Based on the community facilities analysis, and depending upon the phasing of construction, the SEIS will describe the timing of when the school might be needed. The construction noise, vibrations and air analyses will consider all sensitive receptors including the proposed public school and related playground space.

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