Tuesday, January 26, 2010

After More Than Two Years, Still No Permanent Certificate Of Occupancy For Hannah Senesh Day School

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Back in December 2009, the Board of Hannah Senesh Day School drew attention to itself when it revealed its plans for a two-story expansion onto the city-owned courtyard next to the school. However, Carroll Gardens' unique courtyards are protected by a 150-year-old law,
which forbids anyone from building or parking on them.

With the help of
lobbyist Ken Fisher, Hannah Senesh was able to convince then-Councilman Bill de Blasio that this was a good idea. In his last days as this community's public elected official, de Blasio was ready to introduce to the Council a bill which would have altered the law by exempting the courtyard on First Place at Smith Street.

When it became known, the plan met with tremendous opposition from the Carroll Gardens community. The overwhelming sentiment was clear: not even one of our signature courtyards can be lost.

Why Hannah Senesh Day School needs to expand so quickly after moving into the building in September 2007, is unclear. The Board's Vice-Chair, Amy Glosser, was quick to say that the school did not intend on growing its enrollment. Glosser stated that the expansion was "not about getting bigger, but about getting better."

Could there possibly be another reason why the school is pursuing the expansion?

Since Hannah Senesh moved into their new location at 342 Smith Street in the fall of 2007, the school building has not been issued a permanent Certificate of Occupancy by the New York City Buildings Department.

So far, seven Temporary Certificates have been issued. That is rather an unusual amount. Between T.C. # 6, which expired in September 2008 and T.C. # 7 issued in January 2010, the school did not have ANY permit.
How could this be?

On January 19, 2010, the Buildings Department presented the school with a list of 14 open items needed before a permanent C.of O. can be issued. Amongst those items is a final plumbing sign-off, a fire alarm/signal system sign-off and Place Of Assembly sign-off.

There is also a special notation that there would be no more issuance of Temporary Certificates without a review.

The Buildings Department, I have heard, gives special consideration to schools to ensure that they have all the correct permits in a timely fashion. Why then has it taken Hannah Senesh Day School so long to get a permanent one?
And more importantly, why was the school able to operate without even a temporary permit between the end of '08 and the beginning of '10?

Whatever the problem with the D.o.B, one has to wonder if the expansion is a must rather than a need.

And are the school's parents aware of any of this?





To read previous posts about Hannah Senesh expansion, click here



For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the fire department know the school's fire alarm system hasn't been permanently signed off yet? On the face of things, this looks terrible. The school has some explaining to do, most especially to the parents and children, who probably know nothing of this.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the plumbing system been finalized? Does this include the sprinkler system or just mean sinks and toilets? This doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Will the German lady stop picking on the Jewish school? This is Brooklyn 2010 is it not?

It's not unusual for a schools to operate with TCO. Packer, Open House, Mary McDowell have all done it.

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

For no other reason than for the...

SAFETY OF CHILDREN...

The Day School & its baord should be called onto the carpet and held responsible for NOT having thier Fire Alarm System approved.

As ANON 7:10 a/m noted, does incomplete plumbing also include the Sprinkler System?!?

The Fire Department should check to see if everything is operational - perhaps it's a paperwork issue NOT a System Failure - but either way the Parents & Teachers of that school (and the neighborhood itself) should be made aware of the facts!

Anonymous said...

Cut the German/Jewish BS, Anon 9:09. You have *failed* the internet (see
Godwin's Law for further information).

This Jew sees things Katia's way. If Hannah Senesh didn't want the community digging into their records, they really shouldn't have sold their air rights before initiating their ill-conceived expansion, should they?

Anonymous said...

After making a bigoted remark, Anonymous 9:09 offers an interesting take on the problem in that; if everyone else is doing it, it's OK to circumvent the regulations. Two stupid comments in one post !

A Concerned Citizen said...

I'd just to know when they're going to build something on that hideous parking lot! It's an eyesore, and the neighborhood will be unanimously grateful once a nice new addition is covering it.

PS - Keep your dogs out of Carroll Park!

PPS - Hey you kids! Get off my grass!!!

Anonymous said...

9:09. You really are showing how stupid you are trying to play the German against the Jews card. Hate-mongering is despicable.

The Original Carroll Gardener said...

I'll bet their rain gutters are full of crud also. Someone ought to do something about this.

Matthew said...

Did you ever expect to have so many Anonymouses in your neighborhood? My question is, what if the plumbing is connected to the sprinkler system? Reminds me of that scene in Brazil when the ducts are connected to sewage line...

frencheese said...

To anonymous 2010 9:09 AM:
Get off this body; We all know you Ken! Ah! Ah!

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

To Anon 9:09 (1/26/10)

You, sir or madame, are a fool.

Although Katia may be a bit too Poly-Anna at times, she is NOT a bigot.

She, nor anyone else I've noticed on this site, has ever made it a Jewish School Issue - - - To her, and those of us who care about equality, it's always been a Fairness Issue.

And, as of late, it's become a Safety Issue! What if the school fire alarms don't work properly? What if the plumbing issues are sprinkler system realted? Have you not lived in the area long enough to remember the private school fire of the 1970's?

Anon 9:09 your mission failed - we will NOT allow you to play a race or religion card here.

Plow to Plate said...

Well-said 1:31!