We are excited to announce that on a cold sunny day – joined by a choir of students, proud parents and board members – we broke ground on our latest design collaboration: Grand Concourse Academy, a charter school in the Bronx.  Construction of the new campus is made possible through a partnership between the school and the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund. The 3-story, 50,000sf school will serve 769 students in grades K-8. McGowan Builders is providing general contracting and construction management services for the project.

“In terms of our creative process, it is always important to us that each project starts with an “idea”, so that we maintain a conceptual clarity throughout.  Our priority for GCA was to create a warm, welcoming environment that encourages learning.  In this case, our inspiration for the building’s exterior is the idea of a child’s crayon sketch and what we imagined they might draw for the ideal school.    Color bands break down the scale of this 300’ long building, making it at once playful and approachable, so that children are happy to come to school. We continue to use color at the interior to “code” the program and circulation. A soothing grass green serves as the base floor color, with creamy off-white  sections to designate locations for queuing, aqua blue to locate drinking fountains and restrooms, and bright orange to signal stairs and egress routes. All flooring is “nora” rubber (in lieu of VCT), and triple-glazed larch wood windows and doors will be installed so that all surfaces children come in contact with are soft and natural.” – Lea Ciavarra

Students discuss plans for their new school.

Attendees received lacquered wood rulers decorated with the front elevation of the new school building.