The Dalton School’s plan to expand its Upper East Side location by building a two-story rooftop addition has irked its neighbors, who called the proposal “gargantuan” and an attempt by the elite private school to unfairly use its privilege.
Dalton representatives appeared before Community Board 8’s land use committee to request zoning variances that would allow the school – whose alumni include Claire Danes and Anderson Cooper – to up its square footage by 12,164 square feet and its height from 143 feet to 170 feet.
The expansion would allow Dalton to add a much-needed space for science and technology initiatives as well as a rooftop greenhouse, the representatives said, according to DNAinfo.
But local residents and community board members said that the school’s well-heeled students should go somewhere else if they can’t stomach the building’s current space.
“All I hear is ‘your poor students,’” neighborhood resident Fran Manushkin said, according to DNAinfo. “I don’t think we should be sacrificed to them.”
The community board ultimately voted to deny the zoning request, though their decision is merely advisory and not binding. Dalton’s land use lawyer Jay Segal told DNAinfo that the school would look to a Board of Standards and Appeals zoning hearing in September next year.
“They have to be bigger and bigger and bigger,” board member Elizabeth Ashby said to DNAinfo. “The addition of the moment seems to be the greenhouse — next it’ll be a heliport.” [DNAinfo] – Hiten Samtani