First, the Ross School brought the exploration of space to its main campus. Now, the school’s administration plans on getting down to Earth by bringing in a “barnyard animal study center” to the campus on Goodfriend Drive, according to plans submitted to the East Hampton Town Planning Board recently.
The exploration of space component is via a 180-square-foot, 15-foot-tall observatory with an electronic telescope that can be operated remotely by students and instructors. The observatory contains a 20-inch Meade telescope, said to be the largest on Long Island.
That project was first proposed to the planning board in 2014. The observatory itself came from the Further Lane property that belonged to investment banker Brian Brille. It had been donated to the Montauk Observatory, which had originally planned to site it at Theodore Roosevelt County Park in Montauk. Years of wrangling over the proper spot for the telescope ended when Ross School stepped in. There is now a 20-year agreement for Ross School to run the observatory, which now sits in deep center field of the baseball field on the campus.
The barnyard will cover slightly less than a half-acre on the almost 62-acre campus. It is going to be placed on a crescent-shaped piece of land just north of Goodfriend Drive, and west of the school’s Center for Well Being. The barnyard will include sheds for donkeys, pigs, goats, and chickens, plus one chicken coop. The Ross School will not be competing with Iacono Farm on Long Lane: This poultry is for studying only.
These are not new structures. They currently stand on Ross School’s lower campus in Bridgehampton, which is closing. The board was presented photographs of the structures by their representative, Andy Hammer, at a recent planning board session.
Ross School has moved its elementary classes, which encompass pre-nursery through sixth grade, to the main campus that sits between Route 114 and Plank Road.
The children have already made the move: Now, the animals will follow.
In addition to the barnyard, Ross School is proposing to add a playground slightly over a half-acre in size to the northeast of the Center for Well Being, just east of an already approved but not yet built Founders Memorial Plaza.