George Washington School
The riverside hamlet of Edgewater – a bedroom community for New York City commuters along the banks of the Hudson River – had experienced significant growth in its student population over the past several years. Operating solely out of one school – the Eleanor Van Gelder School – the district was at its limit both in terms of classroom space and expansion possibilities. However, the district owned another elementary school that was being leased to a third party. Originally built in 1928, the George Washington School was eyed for possible occupation and renovation. After a thorough feasibility study, it was determined that the cost to extensively renovate the existing school was on par with demolishing the school and constructing a new state-of-the-art facility in its place that would house grades Pre-K through Grade 2.
Completed in September 2012, the 103,000 SF, $25 million project entailed complex demolition and construction within tight site parameters in a densely populated area. Other design challenges included accounting for the various elevation changes on the site’s hillside location, as well as existing underground utilities that had to remain intact. The building was designed so that the new façade would be in scale and context with the surrounding residential neighborhood. Inside, the school features 20 general classrooms, small group instruction rooms, a self-contained Special Education room, music and art rooms, multi-purpose room, and administrative areas. In addition, there is an interactive learning room located on the school’s third floor. Exterior elements include a secure playground area, an outdoor amphitheater, new perimeter fencing, and two outdoor parking lots, as well as an underground garage. Additionally, the new school was designed to LEED-Certified standards and contains numerous sustainable design elements.