The five-story school building includes 26 classrooms and eight special-education classrooms, in addition to science rooms, an art studio, a music suite, a regulation-size gym with an auxiliary gym, a library, and other support spaces.
Skanska USA, who was awarded a $61 million contract by the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), is responsible for building the new sustainable intermediate and high school at Hunters Point South in Long Island City. The construction began in November and is said to end on October 2013.
The approximately 16,000-square-meter school, which will accommodate more than 1,000 students, is designed to meet Silver LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the highest achievements a building can receive, according to a Shanska press release.
The School Construction Authority released a NYC Green Schools Guide that calls for schools designed after January 2007 to be built with green standards that will have the LEED Certification and a minimum 20 percent reduction in energy cost. The sustainable design promotes a healthy environment, reduces operating cost, conserves energy, and teaches environmental responsibility.
“Schools are often the cornerstones of strong communities,” said Tom Webb, general manager of Skanska’s New York Metro Region. “Whenever Skanska is fortunate enough to build such a critical resource, we not only make sure that the building meets the needs of the students and the educators, but we also consider the needs of the surrounding community during the construction process.”
Among the elements that will be used in the "green" school are sensors that shut lights off when no one is in the room, solar shading that reduces heat from the sun during the summer and allows direct sun light entering a classroom in the winter, and a self-adjusting ventilation system.
The new sustainable intermediate school is part of the recent development for Hunters Point South. It will also include a proposed mixed-use residential building with up to 5,000 housing units, 60 percent of which will be affordable to middle-income families on what was once a 30-acre abandoned industrial waterfront bounded by 50th Avenue, 2nd Street, Newtown Creek, and the East River.