CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y. -- At a time when Ramapo and Spring Valley are under heavy scrutiny by the state for code enforcement issues at private schools, the opening of a new elementary school for girls in Chestnut Ridge without permits has both government and school officials at odds.
The school, Bais Yaakov Elementary School of Rockland County, which opened last month, is not in compliance with zoning and fire code regulations, according to lohud.com.
Despite the lack of required permits and inspections, the school, located on the grounds of the old Edwin Gould property, is continuing to operate while both sides try to work out the issues.
South Spring Valley Fire Chief Chris VanSchaick told the Journal News that they first found out about the school's existence when the department responded to a call for smoke coming from one of the buildings in December.
VanSchaick said he and village inspectors sought to return to the property to do a full inspection but were blocked for more than a week by the property owner's representative who had guards and gates put up at the school, reported lohud.com.
Once the inspection was allowed, code enforcement officials issued the school seven violations including a failure to have a certificate of fire safety compliance and operating without a certificate, said lohud.com.
And officials said that doesn't even include other inspections such as electrical and plumbing work done by the owner.
VanSchaick told the Journal that the school opening without the proper inspections puts the children in jeopardy and he was going to make sure the proper inspections took place.
An attorney for the school said the property has historically been used as a school and had a certificate of occupancy from 1964 that does not expire, said lohud.com.
Currently, 309 girls attend the school, with about 100 living in Chestnut Ridge.
Village officials said the school will have to receive all of the required permits and certificates in order to keep operating, said lohud.com.