Draper Avenue neighbors don't want another school

For the past several years, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for Dale Monini to return to his Draper Avenue home to find his street crowded with traffic, cars parked in front of his driveway and piles of cigarette butts in his yard.

Monini said his residential problems arose when the International Charter School of Schenectady moved across the street in June 2006.

It's chaos, said Monini. "It's not that the kids were ever a problem, but the staff and parents " it's just total disrespect."

Monini said he complained to the school several times about a bright halogen light that shone through the window of his daughter's room at night. It wasn't until Monini hired a lawyer that the school put a shield on the light.

On Thursday, March 20, Monini and a small group of neighbors voiced their concerns to the town board about the fate of the old Draper School building.

The State University's board of trustees has ordered the charter school to close at the end of the school year, and Monini and his neighbors want to ensure another school doesn't take up residency on their street, and they're urging the town to take control.

According to Saleem Cheeks, a spokesman for ICSS, the future of the school building is still unclear.

"It's an ongoing process," said Cheeks who noted that the school currently owes $7 million on the property to creditors.

"Our options include the sale of the property, leasing the property or turning the property over to First Niagara Bank," said Cheeks.

First Niagara Bank holds a majority of the school's debt.

Monini's neighbors, who wished not to be identified, said they were tired of finding their front lawns covered with blown garbage, and the sidewalks in front of the school covered in snow during the winter. They complained of noise and said that the school's presence was bringing down the value of their homes.

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