Ground has been broken for a new Public School 144 addition at 93-02 69th Avenue in the Forest Hills section of Queens.
The addition will accommodate the growing enrollment in the elementary school, also known as the Colonel Jeromus Remsen School, which currently serves 894 students in grades Pre-K to 5.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, School Construction Authority (SCA) director Lorraine Grillo, principal Reva Gluck Schneider, and representatives of Urbahn Architects, and general contractor MPCC celebrated at a traditional groundbreaking ceremony.
Urbahn Architects’ principal, Donald E. Henry, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, said the $52.4 million, four-story addition will house 26 new classrooms, an entrance lobby, an outdoor play area, a cafeteria, offices, and a medical suite.
The new building’s contemporary architecture will reflect the exterior of the original school erected in 1931.
Urbahn principal and designer, Martin D. Stein, AIA, said the new building will accommodate 590 students and eliminate the need for temporary modular, outdoor classroom facilities.
The addition is designed in accordance with the NYC Green Schools Guide and Rating System, which specifies energy efficiency and healthy-environment requirements for New York City public schools.
In addition to the SCA, Urbahn Architects, and MPCC, the project team includes structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson Associates LERA; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer Loring Consulting Engineers; civil engineer Yu + Associate Engineers; landscape architect Edgewater Design; lighting consultant Lumen Architecture; acoustic, A/V, IT, and security consultant Cerami & Associates; and food service consultant Schiavone Designs.
The addition will be adjacent to the four-floor, L-shaped original school from 1931, which sits on a 2.1-acre site. The two buildings will be connected on all four floors through expansion joints.
The project will create a new ADA-compliant entrance and lobby that will serve the entire expanded school that will be located on Juno Street, as well as adding two elevators.
The entrance lobby will be 16 feet high with a large glass-and-metal storefront and broad open stairs to the first floor level and down to the student dinning room/cafeteria level.