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Shelter Island’s Perlman campus upgrades delayed: Await consultant’s archaeological report

Three months after principals from the Perlman Music Program — now in its 30th year on Shelter Island — brought their plans to update their campus to the Zoning Board of Appeals, it now appears it will be at least the end of August before the requested use variance can get a vote.

The use variance is needed because the campus is currently zoned as a camp, and needs its use changed to an educational institution to allow it to proceed with other permit applications.

The other permits are needed to replace some buildings more than 100 years old, and upgrade other aspects of its building and grounds.

The use variance was on the agenda of the ZBA’s June 26 meeting, but Chairman Phil DiOrio said a consultant looking at archaeological aspects of the plan has not yet filed a report required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

According to the presentation earlier this year on a proposed three-phase process, Phase One would see a new campus center that showcases the Clark Arts Center performance space, and a picnic area. Work would also include new faculty cabins, and renovations to the welcome center

Phase Two is to be highlighted by a new boys’ dormitory, a renovated practice building and the Cumming Stark Building. Phase Three will be construction of a new performance space.

Perlman has provided some requested information to the consultant, but without a final decision, the ZBA had to postpone further consideration of the application until its Aug. 28 meeting, Mr. DiOrio said.

The three-stage project hasn’t been scheduled, pending ZBA action on the use request. From the outset, the Perlman team had not tied specific dates to the construction project, not knowing how long the ZBA action would take.

At this point, Executive Director Anna Kaplan said the Perlman team would have no comment.

Toby Perlman, founder and president of the Perlman Music Program, said in April the changes to the campus would  be “better, but not bigger,” since expansions will be made by building basements that are lacking in some buildings.

Ms. Perlman promised plenty of greenery that has been a feature of the existing campus. Some old buildings are slated to be replaced while others involve renovations and infrastructure, including installation of an I/A septic system for the campus.

Ms. Kaplan and Board Chairman Ran Blank have promised to preserve the property’s rustic character and charm while upgrading buildings, grounds and sustainability. Facilities Manager James Cummings said the changes will mean less time spent on emergency repairs and more time on routine maintenance.