The Chapin School at East 84th Street and East End Avenue was issued a 24/7 work permit by the Department of Buildings for an ongoing construction project that has drawn the ire of the neighborhood.
That permit ends April 28, but residents are concerned that it is a sign of more similar permits and after-hours work to come.
Cynthia Kramer, who lives nearby, said that in order for an ambulance to get to her building during an emergency this past Sunday, her super had to stand outside and direct traffic around the construction so the ambulance could pull up. “Our super went and … stopped traffic while the demolition crew was waiting for a truck to arrive,” Kramer said. “If our super hadn’t done that it would’ve been chaos.”
Chapin is already permitted to work from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. DOB record indicate that 144 24/7 building permits have been issued in Manhattan so far this year, eight of them in the same zip code as Chapin.
The school has hosted meetings with residents to update them and hear their concerns, but the neighbors do not feel that it is enough. “In some ways we’re hopeful they’re going to turn the page and be more considerate of the neighbors,” said resident Lisa Paule. “But seven days a week work is totally not acceptable.” Paule is nervous that construction will ramp up even more this summer, when Chapin’s students are on break. “This is the prelude,” she said.
The 24/7 permit was issued for indoor work, according to DOB records, and residents acknowledge that the latest round of construction has not been significantly disruptive. However, this does not lead them to believe that the rest of the project might go more smoothly; they worry that it is the calm before the storm.
“Work within and near schools often must take place outside of standard work hours to ensure the safety of students,” a DOB spokesperon wrote in a statement. “The work variances issued at this address were issued for public safety reasons as permitted under the City’s Administrative Code.”