A Mineola Catholic high school will build a multi-story science and technology facility on the corner of Emory Road and Jericho Turnpike after obtaining Mineola Village Board approval last week. Chaminade High School, an 85-year village mainstay, will open the 30,000 square-foot center in spring or summer 2017.
The building will stand on the northwest corner of the school’s campus.
“This new science building is going to put Chaminade at the next level of academic study and scientific research,” Chaminade President Brother Thomas Cleary said. “It’s going to benefit the students when they move into the career market.”
The high school plans to move its current science and technology program to the new building. The ground floor of the facility will teach earth science and physics while the second floor will be used for chemistry and biology. The third floor will house a multipurpose space for classes and lectures.
“There is a heavy focus on science and technology [in schools],” Chaminade’s legal counsel, Kevin Walsh said. “And while Chaminade has been a superlative academic institution, they have never been a [school] that sits on complacency.”
According to project architect Layla Safiani, the building will feature a three-story atrium while the roof could host outdoor class activities. She indicated the north plaza will be paved with permeable pavers, which allows surface water to permeate back into the soil. This helps manage stormwater runoff, she said.
Chaminade presented the plan to Emory Road residents in June. The project obtained zoning and planning boards approval in October.
“Throughout the process, there was no one at the hearings that opposed the application,” Walsh said. “Some questions were raised about it, but no one opposed the application.”
Joseph Lao lives a stone’s throw from Chaminade and contends parking is an issue for nearby residents. Football games draw hundreds of fans that park or tailgate nearby.
“They’re great neighbors,” Lao said of Chaminade. “But they do bring a lot of people to the village and my block. The parking they have is inconvenient when it comes to events. We feel it. It’s hard to drive down the block at times.”
Rescheduling educational events around games is possible, officials said.
“We never expect any less from Chaminade,” Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira said of the project. “It looks great. As much as we can, I know with a facility like this, you’ll be looking to host [events]. Just be cognizant that if you host [events at the building] and you’re going to be [hosting sporting events], maybe that’s not a good plan. I know there’s only so much [Chaminade] can do. We’ve heard in the past its usually the visiting team that are the offenders if you will.”
School reps expect no enrollment increases or additional students from the addition. School bus reroutes are not being considered at this time, according to Cleary. Chaminade buses park on Saville Road and Jackson Avenue at the end of school days.
“This application is designed to not increase the impact,” Walsh said. “Chaminade will continue to respond to the issues neighbors have. Maybe there’s some opportunity in the future to create avenues for easing the parking with the congestion over there.”