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Old Westbury green lights dorm construction for NYIT’s campus

The Westbury Campus of the New York Institute

The Westbury Campus of the New York Institute of Technology is seen on Monday, April 25, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Village of Old Westbury has approved the addition of seven buildings and nearly 700 beds to New York Institute of Technology’s Old Westbury campus, the first residential dorms to be housed there.

The trustees approved the development in a 5-0 vote on April 18, two years after the college submitted its proposal to the village even as neighboring property owners opposed it. The college must also receive approvals from the Village of Brookville.

The expansion is to cover 23-acres in both North Shore villages. The college does not have student dormitories and rents more than 400 beds to students at SUNY Old Westbury’s campus.

“Currently we are a commuter campus, and we are converting this to a partial residential campus,” Niyazi Bodur, Vice President for Information Technology and Infrastructure at NYIT, said.

“This will create an overall better campus life atmosphere. There will be students on campus 24/7,” said Bodur.

Since the proposal was introduced, the village has negotiated with the campus to preserve historic trees and steer traffic away from village roads, Old Westbury Mayor Fred Carillo said.

NYIT, under the agreement struck with village officials, owes Old Westbury $855,000 for use of its water system, which village officials can use to fund a new well. The village also agreed to a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes plan in which the college would pay $360,400 annually.

The village still needs a building permit and approvals from the Village of Brookville, including the board of trustees and planning board, Bodur said. Roads and parking lots, but not buildings, are to be built in Brookville, Bodur said.

Brookville Mayor Daniel Serota said his village has yet to accept any plans from the university.

“We were deeply concerned about traffic,” Serota said. “All the roads, the only way in and out of the college, are Brookville’s roads.”

Other structures to be built include a campus commons, an administration building, and an academic building. Bodur said the entranceways and exits will be confined to Northern Blvd, a state road, and not a village roads.

Carillo said that the college would preserve tree alleys on the campus, and add tall evergreen trees along Whitney Lane and the southern property line of the 112-acre estate of billionaire Steven Schonfeld.

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