MAMARONECK, N.Y. – To prevent traffic flow and pedestrian safety issues, the work on the Murray Avenue School stairs will stop indefinitely when school opens Wednesday, Sept. 3.
This means Murray Avenue will be clear and walkable for youngsters on their first day back to school. The work site had blocked the sidewalk along Murray Avenue in front of the school up until Monday. Tuesday, it was pushed back and confined to the fenced area, where the steps have been demolished.
The stairs were supposed to be replaced by the start of school, but the construction company hired by the Mamaroneck School District did not meet its obligations, said Meryl Rubenstein, assistant superintendent of business operations for the district.
She gave faculty, school board members and residents an update on the work Wednesday evening.
The district then decided to terminate the contract and hire another company.
“We found ourselves in a situation where we knew the stairs could never be completed by the start of school,” she said. “So, we came up with an emergency plan to address egress issues, keeping the stairs sectioned off, but having a safe path for students to leave in the event that there is some sort of fire emergency, as well as some dismissal.”
There are three doors on the Murray Avenue side of the school near the stairs that remain open, with a narrow path between the building and stairs leading to the main entrance. The path is fenced off from the construction area all along the path that leads back to the main entrance.
“The largest impact that we will have is that there will not be access from Murray Avenue into the playground,” Rubenstein said.
The stairs project also includes window work, all of which was originally part of a 2012 construction bond. It was removed from that bond and paid for through a transfer to capital, Rubenstein said.
“Our biggest concern was safety of students and staff and getting school open on time with the least impact to the instructional day,” she said. “And I believe that we have met that goal.”