As the village continues to assess what to do with the shuttered St. Paul’s School for Boys, trustees have tasked the Manhattan-based CNY with ensuring the security of the site. CNY is the firm that recently beat out Aurora Contractors Inc. and Triton Construction for the right to be the construction manager on this project. A short-term “temporary protection plan” is being developed to stabilize the physical buildings at the St. Paul’s site for whatever purpose is eventually selected by the board of trustees.
CNY’s first order of business was to conduct an FAA-approved drone flight at the site back in May. The drone flew over the entire recreational area, but mainly captured views of the existing buildings. The information gathered will be used to guide and facilitate the next steps involved in stabilizing the building.
With unsanctioned activity being reported at St. Paul’s protocol dictated that all first responder agencies within the village were notified as well as all the property owners’ associations. The Garden City School District was also notified. After consultation with the project manager, the decision was made to erect an eight-foot high fence, which includes protective screening around the entire length of it, to prevent any parties from illegally entering St. Paul’s. The fence encircles the entire building from the front steps on the south side up to the roadway by the recreation cottages to the north. It runs along Rockaway Avenue on the east side and along the west side of the building by Cluett Hall.
There are access gates for vehicles off of Rockaway Avenue, and several pedestrian entrances around the site. For Department of Public Works Superintendent Joseph DiFrancisco, this step was crucial given the complexity of the project and the potential for someone to get hurt is certain safeguards aren’t employed.
“This fence will help protect the site and protect anyone around the site, as there will be heavy equipment being staged inside the fenced-in area that will be used in the process of stabilizing the building,” DiFrancisco said. “Crews will soon begin assessing the degree of damage inside the building to aid in the creation of a stabilization plan, which will then be presented to the board of trustees. There is a great deal of fact-finding underway, which will be shared with the community as the project progresses.”