In a recent meeting of the River Vale School Board, significant time was devoted to discussing the construction at Holdrem, including a resident’s frustration over disruptive activities near the school. Despite a variety of issues, including the superintendent’s contract renewal and an array of resolutions, the impact of the construction on the community took center stage.
The board began by discussing ongoing projects, with a focus on the significant construction happening at Holdrem. Cheryl Berkowitz, leading the Buildings and Grounds Committee, updated the board on the progress, stating “Holdrem’s still scheduled to get their TCO on August 29th,” and mentioned plans for a site visit the same day.
However, it was a resident’s complaint that drew the most attention. The resident was frustrated with the noise from construction activities starting as early as 6 a.m., perceived violation of town ordinances, debris left in the street, and a lack of response from the board. In a heated exchange, she claimed the construction work violated a waiver that only permitted indoor work, and argued that her concerns were not being adequately addressed.
In response, one board member emphasized, “us as individuals are not really allowed to address you. We cannot speak for the board.” As a result, the board failed to respond to the resident’s arguments. The business administrator highlighted their own interventions, citing conversations with the construction manager and site manager to promote better neighborliness.
Even as the board tried to reassure the resident, they also underscored the necessity of completing the school project. Despite these assurances, the resident expressed ongoing discontent over what she saw as a lack of communication from the board.
The meeting concluded with the board passing an addendum regarding new business items and expressing their gratitude to the resident for her input.