Patrick MoussignacApr 24, 2018, 12:22 pm

Iona College reaches expansion plan agreement with New Rochelle

School says the expansion will provide outstanding learning opportunities for its students

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NEW ROCHELLE— Iona College has received permission to move forward with an expansion plan to its campus. Iona school officials will also drop their pending litigation against New Rochelle and release city officials from any related claims under the Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act, on Tuesday.

Iona’s inward expansion plan seeks to upgrade both Hagan Hall and Spellman Hall. School officials said the expansion will offer outstanding learning environments for their students.

City leaders have maintained that Iona College continues to grow in a way that's consistent with the community's planning principals, and also maintains a mutually respectful and supportive relationship with its neighbors.

Some residents living along the school's perimeter were concerned about the environmental impact this expansion plans would have on their community. However, one New Rochelle homeowner said the expansion is a win for everyone.

"I do think everything that Iona does to expand helps our neighborhood expand. Our home values go up. We've seen a lot of expansion on North Avenue. So I think in the end it will be a good thing,” homeowner Rachel Hood said.

Students said the expansion will be a good thing, especially for Spellman hall.

"It’s very important to me to see Iona continue to grow because we have an increasingly diversifying student body, and we need more space to fit more student needs,” student Madeline Bennett said.

The city's planning board will conduct a generic environmental impact statement, as it reviews the exact impacts this will have now and on any future developments on campus.

There is no confirmation yet when the multi-million dollar expansion will begin. However, reports said it could take up to 18 months to complete.

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