questions raised by neighbors.
"We can better decide whether to grant the permit when Eaton is here to
answer these questions," she said at the Aug. 25 meeting.
Some residents argue that a parking shortage will cause problems. Don
McMillan, pastor of a nearby church, said 22 parking spaces, eight of
which are reserved for staff, would unlikely accommodate the school's
proposed 130 clients.
"I do support the Montessori [school]," he said. "It's been vacant for a
long time and run down, but there isn't much parking on Slater Avenue.
The preschool at our church has a maximum of 60 kids at any time, and we
need all of our 14 spaces for parents coming and going."
City documents show the state Department of Social Services formerly
limited the school's student capacity to 114.
Other concerns stem from lingering memories of a Montessori school that
occupied the location from the early 1970s until 1998. The former owner
closed the school after fire inspectors discovered the building's exposed
electrical wires and leaky roof, which could have caused a fire or
electrocuted a child, project planner Robert Franklin said.
The school's neglect of its facility and children also caused trouble for
"It required a lot more upkeep to remove the dirt from our pool,"
resident Tony Feichtman said. "I would like to see the wall between our
property and the school raised to eight feet to give us privacy."
Feichtman not only saw toys popping up over the wall, but the little
faces of children peering over it, he said.
"They didn't watch the kids," he said.
The new school, Heritage Montessori, will be different, assured Ernegg
Ireloar, a spokesman for Eaton, who plans to operate the school from 7
a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
"The kids will not be allowed to run amok as they did before," he said.
"All the sand at the school has been replaced with bark, so there will be
minimal dirt blown around and very few of the kids will stay until 6