The Windward School’s plan to move one of its campuses from Windward Avenue in White Plains to the March of Dimes’ office building at 1275 Mamaroneck Ave. moved a step closer last night after no public opposition was voiced to the proposal.
“Windward enjoys a national reputation for excellence. It is indeed a very special place. It educates children grades one white plains through nine who have language-based learning disabilities and dyslexia,” attorney Mark Weingarten of the firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr LLP told the White Plains Common Council
The March of Dimes plans to move out of the building in July and The Windward School officials hope to be able to make the move into the redesigned structure next year. The school’s campus on Red Oak Lane in Harrison would remain in place.
“We believe this is a win-win,” Weingarten said. “One, we’re coming to a larger and better campus; we’ll have a newer facility for the students. Two, there have been … some issues with the school where it was in the current location with respect to traffic and other things. That’s a much more closed-in environment; its entry is not from a large road such as Mamaroneck Avenue.”
Andrew V. Tung of the land use and engineering consulting firm Divney Tung Schwalbe described plans for the adaptive reuse of the 113,000-square-foot, 3-story March of Dimes office building. It would be refitted to provide classroom and support space for approximately 350 students in grades 1 through 5. In addition, a gymnasium of about 11,000 square feet would be built.
When questioned by Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona about the use of sustainable technologies such as solar panels, Tung said they had no plans for solar electricity but the adaptive reuse of the building itself was a sustainability measure for the site. Tung said the new gymnasium building would be clad in insulated materials known as a high-performance thermal envelope. He said the entire building is going to receive a new high-performance HVAC system.
“The school is in the process of balancing how best to spend its money in outfitting the building and where it can get its investment back,” Tung said.
With no public opposition to the project, the hearing was closed, paving the way for the Common Council to vote its approval of the required special permit at a subsequent meeting.