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Proposed school gym is too big for Amherst site

As Amherst taxpayers, we wonder if, and hope that, our elected officials hear our voices. Does anyone else feel this way?

We live on the escarpment in historic Eggertsville, sharing greenery-filled back yards and a good relationship with the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. We admire the values of this neighborhood school. However, in seeking to expand its school program, Sacred Heart has applied for and received permission to erect a new gym box in its back yard. Town of Amherst officials have granted the application, with one proviso: that it must meet “aesthetic standards.” In our view, it does not.

Sacred Heart proposes to build an enormous gym shed in its yard. The plan calls for a Butler industrial prefabricated shed, used primarily for barns and storage facilities. Made of vinyl-coated metal, it is unsightly and architecturally incompatible with our homes, or with the school building itself. This structure is to be built in much closer proximity to our property lines than normally granted in residential neighborhoods. Looming over us, dwarfing all our neighborhood homes, it would completely block our views. Its metal roof is a sound hazard, and will amplify weather and athletic events.

There is no doubt that this proposed athletic building will negatively affect our property values and daily lives. Would anyone want to have such a huge commercial building so close to his property lines? We think not.

Taking the time to acquire the necessary funding for Sacred Heart to build an appropriate structure, with acceptable aesthetic standards, would be embraced and welcomed by all.

We have asked our elected officials to support this direction, and to avoid what appears to be a precedent-setting event for other Amherst neighborhoods. Is anyone listening?

Alice and Robert Rosenthal

Amherst