Stephen Gaynor School Expansion

Stephen Gaynor School Expansion

Building on the new mid-rise Manhattan tower on West 90th Street for The Stephen Gaynor School and Ballet Hispanico, also designed by Rogers Partners, the school purchased two adjacent properties - the landmark Claremont Stables building and a former carriage house to expand/be able to accommodate the school’s growth in students and in programs. The design team developed a long-term program to meet growth targets and mission-driven priorities, specifically the extension of the school’s pedagogical approach with a focus on early education and middle school-age students. The existing site conditions were evaluated; options for maximizing site development, in accordance with zoning regulations and Landmarks Preservation Commission parameters, were investigated.

Higher Education, Institutional, Non-profit, 
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Stephen Gaynor School Expansion
Stephen Gaynor School Expansion

The six-phase project consists of the full renovation of the existing 50,000 square foot Stables building and new construction on its roof and the carriage house site. Completed in 2012, the first phase included core, shell, and infrastructure for long-term site development, as well as a new Early Childhood Center with classrooms, lobbies, a learning kitchen, offices, and outdoor play and garden areas. This was followed by the interior fit-out of several floors.

Constructed over a summer, a new bridge over the rear yards connects the original building to the expansion to allow students and faculty to move safely and easily between buildings. A 5,000 square foot double-height, rooftop “field house” recreational space was completed in 2015.

Stephen Gaynor School Expansion Field House

The Performing Arts Center completes the multi-phase renovation of the landmark Claremont Stables Building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, just in time for the 2019 school year. The 300-seat Center with a green room satisfies key academic needs of the school, including theater and drama classes, movement classes, music rehearsals, large group events and community engagement. The performing arts program is a featured component of the rich and varied curriculum of this unique K-8 school. Production components and equipment are designed to invite participation by the young student body. From the upper level, the main entrance to the space offers a dramatic overview of the seating down to the main performance space one level below-grade. Lining the wall, polycarbonate panels diffuse and enhance the limited natural light available for the adjacent light well. Telescoping theater seating rolls away and stows below the balcony, enabling reconfiguration into a multi-purpose activity space, as needed. 

Stephen Gaynor School Expansion - Performing Arts Center
Stephen Gaynor School Expansion

The Expansion project sought LEED certifications, coinciding with the phasing of the project and occupancy. The Early Childhood Center was awarded LEED CI for use of responsible energy design, adaptive reuse of an existing historical structure, local and regional materials, and low emitting materials. The green practices of the building resulted in students learning about their school’s history, the benefits of recycling while building, and ultimately invigorated recycling efforts post-occupancy. The design for the expansion project at West 89 Street to meet LEED certification for schools embraces similar green technology and practices.

Location: New York, NY | Completion: 2019 | Size: 91,400 SF | Client: Stephen Gaynor School