Situation In North Babylon Has Several Families Demanding Changes And School Officials Saying The District Had The Right To Do What It Did

NORTH BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some suburban high school athletic field bleachers seemed to grow overnight.

They are now towering over backyards and homeowners are crying foul, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

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From every window in the Cannella’s North Babylon home their new view — of the bleachers — is nothing to cheer about.

“It’s a monstrosity,” one family member said.

Residents in one neighborhood in North Babylon, New York, are irate over a school district’s expansion of the local high school’s football field bleachers. (Photo: CBS2)

The family’s swimming pool and deck for backyard barbecues are going unused due to what is looming large nearly 40 feet high nearby.

“What was supposed to be a renovation turned into an expansion,” Christopher Cannella said.

He’s referring to the high school press box prior.

“We have kids in the middle school. We chose to stay. We love our community,” Rosetta Cannella said.

“Before this was built, we started asking questions,” Christopher Cannella added.

The Seaman family next door claim they, too, asked questions and were assured the football field footprint would remain along with their privacy.

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“It’s an atrocious abomination. This whole structure is absolutely ridiculous,” John Seaman said.

The Seamans were traveling for several weeks and said they came home to this. They are now worried about liability.

“If they fall off, they fall in my yard and now I get sued,” John said.

North Babylon School District officials addressed the issue in the following statement:

“Following the community approved bond vote, the district began construction on a multitude of projects, as scheduled and communicated with residents via public presentations, written communications and photo/video productions. Throughout this process we continue to update the community on the progress of construction through the district’s website and at open meetings. Under the guidance of professional architects and contractors, all construction projects are being completed exactly as planned, designed and presented to the community and with approval from the State Education Department.

“At the district’s Oct. 18 Board of Education meeting the President informed the community that the board would take a walking tour of the construction site to personally review the new construction and discuss if any remedy would be necessary. No formal budgeting has been appropriated for possible remediation efforts, including the construction of a new higher fence or the planting of trees and as such, these potential projects could result in an impact to taxpayers.”

“I understand the school board said they notified everybody. We got nothing. We’ve talked to our neighbors, nobody got anything,” neighbor Rick Dorsty said.

The bleachers are part of a $69 million school bond issue for upgrades that voters approved last December. The home team grandstand will now have 1,200 seats, while the visitors’ bleachers will have 900.

“This is going to be Friday night lights,” Seaman said.

Homeowners want the bleachers moved to the other side of the field, where there are no houses and there is a new concession plaza.

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Homeowners plan to attend North Babylon’s next school board meeting, on Nov. 13.