The French-American School of New York is looking to expand to the unoccupied Most Holy Trinity Church on East Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck. Most Holy Trinity Church merged with St. Vito’s Church last year, leaving the former church space empty.
According to a letter written to the village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees by the head of the French-American School of New York, FASNY, Joël Peinado, the enrollment of the school is increasing, leaving the school looking for ways to accommodate its growing class sizes.
The FASNY currently leases space for their upper school from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York at St. Vito’s, located on Underhill Avenue in Mamaroneck, but by taking over the Most Holy Trinity Church, the school could accommodate both the upper school and their administrative offices, which are currently located at 525 Fenimore Road in Mamaroneck. Their lower school is in Larchmont, and their pre-school is in Scarsdale. Eventually, the school would like to see a full campus built in White Plains.
The vacant Most Holy Trinity Church building resides in a C-1, or commercial, zone, and an R-5, or residential, zone. According to the zoning code of the village of Mamaroneck, schools are not an approved use in a C-1 zone, but are approved in an R-5 zone.
The Board of Trustees is currently drafting a law that would allow for the adaptive reuse of religious or educational buildings, and would grant a special permit that would amend the zoning code so that these types of buildings could be repurposed. The push for this legislation began when Aqua Tots, a swim school based in Harrison, asked the village of Mamaroneck board to consider the allowance of a zone change so that the swim school could occupy the empty Strait Gate Church, on Madison Street in Mamaroneck.
“There is no change yet [in the zoning code] but we’ve introduced [a law] that would be a wholesale reworking of the zoning code to allow effective reuse,” Village Manager Richard Slingerland said.
According to Slingerland, the village board will discuss the law at a public hearing scheduled for March 28.
Paul Noto, an attorney representing the French-American School, said that if the law is adopted, the school will be able to make an application to the village Planning Board and apply for a site approval.
Peinado could not e reached for comment as of press time.