The athletic fields at the Stony Brook School seen in...

The athletic fields at the Stony Brook School seen in an aerial photo on Thursday. The school plans to build a 46-foot-high indoor sports field that is facing opposition from neighbors. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

The private Stony Brook School's plan for a new indoor sports field is facing opposition from neighbors, who say the 46-foot-high practice facility would be an eyesore.

Residents who live near the sprawling campus off Chapman Parkway said the 35,000-square-foot structure would be visible from their homes, adding they feared additional traffic from the facility would disrupt their neighborhood.

“That’s pretty big in a residential area. Our backyard almost backs right to it," said Hope Wolinski, who lives with her husband, Robert, on Stony Road, near the site of the proposed facility. 

The indoor practice field would be built on what is now a baseball field and is one of three new buildings planned at the century-old boarding school. Neighbors said they were not opposed to the other two buildings — a dormitory and education building, each three stories tall — because they would be constructed on other parts of the campus.

The buildings are needed to help the school compete with other private schools in the region, an attorney for the school, Eric J. Russo of Sayville, said at an Aug. 23 Brookhaven Town Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. 

The dormitory would replace an existing one that is “quite old in years" and does not conform with current health and building codes, Russo said, adding new buildings would not significantly increase traffic in the area.

“There’s no undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood,” Russo said.

The three proposed buildings each would be 10 to 14 feet higher than the 35 feet allowed under Brookhaven Town law. The school is asking the board of zoning appeals to approve variances from the height limits. The board plans to consider the request at a meeting Wednesday.

School officials declined to comment.

The school, which was founded in 1922 and serves students in grades 7 to 12, has about 440 students, roughly half of whom live on campus. The 47-acre campus has 47 buildings, including seven residence halls. 

The number of students currently living on campus would expand from 210 to 222 with the new dorm, Russo said.

Opponents of the sports facility questioned whether it was needed, pointing to an existing indoor practice field on another part of campus. 

“We’ll be able to see a ... metal building from my backyard. That’s a huge problem,” said Jenny Lorenzen of Stony Road.

Supporters of the school's plans said school officials altered the sports facility's location to address neighbors' concerns.

“They’ve really kept their architecture really in line with the original part of the community," Three Village Civic Association president George Hoffman said in an interview, adding he would be "shocked" if the sports facility was unattractive. 

Brookhaven Councilman Jonathan Kornreich said the school is “an incredibly valuable member of the community,” adding he didn't believe the new buildings would generate additional traffic. 

“They need to grow in order to maintain financial stability," said Kornreich, who represents Stony Brook on the town board. "As long as that growth is contained on their campus and doesn’t impact the surrounding neighborhood …. I think it’s great.”

The private Stony Brook School's plan for a new indoor sports field is facing opposition from neighbors, who say the 46-foot-high practice facility would be an eyesore.

Residents who live near the sprawling campus off Chapman Parkway said the 35,000-square-foot structure would be visible from their homes, adding they feared additional traffic from the facility would disrupt their neighborhood.

“That’s pretty big in a residential area. Our backyard almost backs right to it," said Hope Wolinski, who lives with her husband, Robert, on Stony Road, near the site of the proposed facility. 

The indoor practice field would be built on what is now a baseball field and is one of three new buildings planned at the century-old boarding school. Neighbors said they were not opposed to the other two buildings — a dormitory and education building, each three stories tall — because they would be constructed on other parts of the campus.

The buildings are needed to help the school compete with other private schools in the region, an attorney for the school, Eric J. Russo of Sayville, said at an Aug. 23 Brookhaven Town Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. 

The dormitory would replace an existing one that is “quite old in years" and does not conform with current health and building codes, Russo said, adding new buildings would not significantly increase traffic in the area.

“There’s no undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood,” Russo said.

The three proposed buildings each would be 10 to 14 feet higher than the 35 feet allowed under Brookhaven Town law. The school is asking the board of zoning appeals to approve variances from the height limits. The board plans to consider the request at a meeting Wednesday.

School officials declined to comment.

The school, which was founded in 1922 and serves students in grades 7 to 12, has about 440 students, roughly half of whom live on campus. The 47-acre campus has 47 buildings, including seven residence halls. 

The number of students currently living on campus would expand from 210 to 222 with the new dorm, Russo said.

Opponents of the sports facility questioned whether it was needed, pointing to an existing indoor practice field on another part of campus. 

“We’ll be able to see a ... metal building from my backyard. That’s a huge problem,” said Jenny Lorenzen of Stony Road.

Supporters of the school's plans said school officials altered the sports facility's location to address neighbors' concerns.

“They’ve really kept their architecture really in line with the original part of the community," Three Village Civic Association president George Hoffman said in an interview, adding he would be "shocked" if the sports facility was unattractive. 

Brookhaven Councilman Jonathan Kornreich said the school is “an incredibly valuable member of the community,” adding he didn't believe the new buildings would generate additional traffic. 

“They need to grow in order to maintain financial stability," said Kornreich, who represents Stony Brook on the town board. "As long as that growth is contained on their campus and doesn’t impact the surrounding neighborhood …. I think it’s great.”

About the Stony Brook School

Location: 1 Chapman Pkwy., Stony Brook

Founded: 1922

Grades: 7-12

Religious affiliation: Christian, founded by Presbyterians but not affiliated with a denomination

Enrollment: Approximately 440

Boarding students: 52%

Average class size: 15

SOURCE: Stony Brook School

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