Riverhead Charter School

Planning Board grants site plan approval for Riverhead Charter School’s Sound Avenue high school

The Riverhead Charter School received site plan approval to convert a former schoolhouse on Sound Avenue into a high school at Thursday’s Riverhead Planning Board meeting.

The proposal needed special permit approval from the Town Board and site plan approval from the Planning Board. It had already receive the special permit on Dec. 21.

The Planning Board approval included conditions that the school secure a school zone designation from the town, a school speed zone sign and crossing guard, land banked parking for possible future use, and a condition that the students cannot drive themselves to the school.

The 3.9-acre property, across from Palmer Vineyards, was originally the Northville Schoolhouse about 100 years ago and has had multiple uses since then. 

The charter school plans to use the Northville building as a high school, with a capacity of about 106 students.

The school plans to expand to grades K-12 in the 2023-24 school year, and principal Raymond Ankrum has said the building would serve as “bridge” until they can build a new high school elsewhere. The charter school is leasing the Northville building for 10 years. 

The Riverhead Charter School’s current enrollment is 692 students. Its main campus is on Route 25 in Calverton, and part of it occupies the former Calverton Schoolhouse, which was built in 1928.

Palmer Vineyards will not be impacted by the school since it was there already. A new vineyard would not be able to locate within 500 feet of an existing school, under state law.