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 scheduled completion in September 2014, Public School 340, located at the corner of the Avenue of the Americas and 17th Street, will serve 518 students in levels pre-K through fifth grade.
The project is in the design stages with MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture, New York, serving as lead architect. 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 6th Avenue from the upper floors; a cafeteria and dance studio on the main floor; a rooftop play area on the second floor; a lecture hall/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.
“Converting a functioning hospital built in 1988 into a modern and welcoming primary school is just the kind of challenge we like,” said Michael D. Szerbaty, principal of MDSzerbaty Associates in a statement. “One that required us to think ’inside the box’ so to speak.”
The PS 340 project is nearing completion of the design stage and construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012. The SCA has not yet selected a construction manager. A bid date has not been set.