Thursday, December 1, 2011

Public School Conversion at N.Y. Foundling Hospital

The highly anticipated new Foundling elementary school will offer its students a host of special features, including a dance studio, rooftop playground and two-story library, according to new architectural plans released last week.

 The school - officially known as Public School 340M - which will be taking over the bottom six floors of the Foundling Hospital at Sixth Avenue and West 17th Street, is set to open its doors in September 2014, potentially alleviating overcrowded classrooms across Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Flatiron District and Midtown, which advocates complain are bursting at the seams.

The New York School Construction Authority plans to convert the lower six floors and cellar of the 95,000-sq-ft, 14-story New York Foundling Hospital’s Manhattan building, built in 1988, into a new public school.

Upon completion in September 2014, the new P.S. 340M, located at the corner of the Sixth Avenue and 17th Street, will serve 520 students from Pre-K through fifth grade. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012.

The project was designed for the New York School Construction Authority by lead architect MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture.

The school will include 21 new classrooms along 17th Street; specialized instructional areas for art, music, science, a library and a multi-purpose room that will look over Sixth Avenue from the upper floors.

The new school will also include a cafeteria and dance studio on the main floor; a rooftop play area on the second floor; a lecture hall and an auditorium on the lower level; and a community room above the main lobby on the second floor, which will also include administrative areas.

The new PS 340 aims to be a green school, following SCA guidelines. The project challenged designers to conceive of ways to create a bright open school in a building that will be occupied by existing multi-tenants. The solution: a new glass-enclosed staircase will be inserted between the second and sixth floors and a new window wall at the stairway’s core will provide light to the school’s corridors.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012.