PS340, a public school developed by the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) and designed by MDSzerbaty+Associates (MDSA), opened its doors in Chelsea recently.
Located at the corner of the Avenue of Americas and 17th Street, the 95,000 s/f project involved converting the lower six floors and cellar of the 14-story building into a Pre-K through Grade 5 school that serves 518 students.
“This facility demonstrates how the SCA is meeting the demand for schools within New York’s tight urban environment,” said Michael Szerbaty, MDSA principal.
“The challenge was to design a vibrant and protective learning environment for the students while still connecting with the light and energy of the city.”
The Sixth Avenue Elementary School includes 21 new classrooms arranged along the quieter 17th Street side of the building. Specialized instructional areas for art, music, science and a multi-purpose room look over the Avenue of the Americas from the upper floors.
A double-height library was carved out of the 4th and 5th floors. The lower level contains a lecture hall/auditorium available for community use, with a community room on the second floor adjacent to the double-height main lobby, on the same level as the administrative areas.
A sunlit rooftop play area is located on the second floor at the inner court of the building.
The street façade was modified to incorporate a new entry vestibule. The original loading dock became the dance studio.
In addition to the main entrance, the ground floor contains the cafeteria and dance studio which are enclosed with transparent glass partitions that visually connect the entire floor.
The project is also a Green School following SCA-adapted LEED Guidelines.