Heated battle erupts in Great Neck over plans to turn field into parking lot

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Tensions ran high in Great Neck Friday as plans to turn a field into a parking lot got underway.

The Great Neck Public School Administration and Board of Education have started tearing apart an unused field on the southwest corner of Beach and Polo roads to make way for paved parking for students.

Opponents say there is already enough parking available in a lot a quarter-mile down the road. They say the lot has 300 spots and the current one holds 90. They also rose concerns about traffic and water runoff issues.

Community members say they were deceived during bond hearings on the $652,000 budget for the project.

"In order to give them their own private parking lot, we're willing to pave over this beautiful grassy greenfield so they don't have to walk down a long block to another parking lot," says Dr. Jessica Jacob, of Great Neck. "We really didn't do our responsibility on teaching our young."

But proponents for the lot claim it will cut down on the number of students speeding past a curve in the road in a rush to get an open spot. One resident says his retaining wall has been crashed into twice with students trying to battle for parking.

Great Neck Public Schools released a statement, saying in part, "The existing trees will remain along the perimeter, as well as plans for shrubs and improved drainage." It also says the project was one of 100 infrastructural and educational enhancements in the bond referendum approved by 77% of voters in May 2017.


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