The new PS 8 annex — see it here first


View of annex rendering from Poplar Street (courtesy SCA)

Last night, the School Construction Authority released its current renderings and plans for the new PS 8 annex at a PTA meeting last night, presenting an 18,000 square-foot, three-floor addition, with a net of seven new classrooms. The three-phase construction will take three years, and the SCA still has to bid out the job, so there is no cost estimate yet.

For more details from the PTA meeting, check out this report that we received from frequent BHB commenter nabeguy:

Overall, the plan calls for 18,000 square feet of additional space, with a net gain of seven classrooms to the building. The new annex will have three new rooms on the first and second floors and the third floor will include the library, a science room, and an intervention room. The current library and adjoining classroom will be reconfigured into three rooms in order to net the seventh classroom. The current basement will be completely demolished, with the kitchen being moved to the southeast corner, and replaced by dedicated boy/girl bathrooms (versus the current coed ones). The new annex will include a multi-purpose room at the basement level. At a minimum height of 13’9,” and a maximum between beams of 14’6”, it is too low to be considered a gymnasium, but can be used as a play area.

The annex will include two elevators side by side that will be at grade level to the ground floor, thus making the school wheelchair accessible.

Schedule: The plan will be divided into three phases that will be spread over three years, with initial work (borings, surveying etc) beginning in August 2009. The first phase of actual construction of the annex shell will be during the summer of 2010. The second breakthrough phase will be the following year, the and the third phase which will consist of the basement construction will come last.

This project has not gone out for bidding yet, so an overall budget could not be divulged. The contractors will be submitting their numbers based on a “design built bid,” meaning that the SCA will provide them up front with all of the required specifications, e.g. the type of brick and mortar to be used.

Parents raised several issues, nabeguy said:

Noise/dust abatement: to reduce both factors, there will be a barrier wall placed between the existing rooms that abut the annex area and the new construction.

Playground area: the existing playground equipment and area will be lost during the course of construction to accommodate a safety zone between the site and the yard.

The trailers will remain in place during construction.

Worker background checks: the SCA spokesperson was not clear whether they had the authority or legal means to insist on such background checks but would consult with the SCA legal department. However, he did mention that contracts of this kind typically include a clause of non-fraternization that bars workers from having any dealings with the students, teachers, administrators or parents. All workers will be required to wear visible ID tags

There will be an on-site safety officer to protect both the workers and the students against possible injury

No work will be done in the existing building during school hours.

And, lastly, nabeguy’s thoughts:

Overall, I was impressed by the renderings that were presented. Working with Seth, and others on the executive committee, I think the SCA has done a thoughtful job of respecting the specific design of the main building as well as the historic nature of the neighborhood in general. My only negative comment is that the brick color they chose does not closely enough match the current color, although in the renderings, there is no apparent difference and the continuity appears seamless, which is a bit misleading. Might be a minor detail but one I think would go far in making the annex look more like integral part of the whole rather than an extraneous appendage.

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  • In the Heights

    Great job reporting! Thanks

  • No2Walentas2Trees

    this is good news for people who want the school expanded. Bad news for the “we must destroy the view of the Brooklyn Bridge to get a school” people.

  • nabeguy

    Just to clarify, this annex is just that…an addition to the existing pre-K-5 building and is separate from the Dock Street middle school proposal, which now goes before the City Council for a vote, so write your council person with your nod or nix on that issue .

  • ABC

    yeah this has nothing to do with the middle school/dock street issue. this annex was approved a while ago. it’s just the design that is getting released now.

    I wish they had gone modern with the addition, but I’m all for it.

  • CJP

    I think the rendering looks great. And I hope it works out!

  • davoyager

    It’s a great plan. A lot of people worked very hard with a great deal of professionalism to bring us to this point. But special thanks have to go out to our extraordinary principal who has somehow moved the levers of power in city government.
    Thank you Principal Seth Phillips. It’s gonna be a hard 3 years while this project is underway but when this is done, it’ll be more than a feather in your cap. It’ll be an great accomplishment and legacy of your tenure at our humble P.S.8.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Nabeguy, I didn’t attend and thus didn’t see the differences in the brick colors, but _perhaps_ the new brick will fade/discolor over time and more closely match the existing structure? Probably would never perfectly match, as evidenced by any building which has new bricks mixed with old, but maybe will become less noticeable over time?

  • nabeguy

    Can’t say nooc, perhaps you’re right. The new brick really had no distinct color…my best description of it would be that it appeared acid-washed (or stone-washed as the case may be)

  • No One Of Consequence

    How late 80s. :)

  • Andrew Porter

    ABC, note that this is in the BH Landmarked neighborhood. Better an addition that looks like the old building than one that’s obviously “modern”. You might as well have asked for an addition that exceeds the 50 foot height limit.

  • ABC

    being a landmark district doesn’t mean you can’t go modern. the police building addition and the 20 henry new addition are both “modern” in concept — both on this block — and the LPC expressed some interest in seeing something even MORE modern when those designs were grudgingly accepted.

    wouldn’t a mirror/glass box addition have been cool. the packer addition is really successful I think

  • Me

    actually, it has always been my understanding that landmarks usually requires new additions look markedly different (modern or otherwise). They’d rather something look different so as not to compromise the “integrity” of the landmarked structure then to blend and then not be able to see what was old and what was new. Of course renovations of existing structures need ot remain the same.

  • In the Heights

    There is news on the middle school front: A new middle school for district 13 is opening in the Fall of 2010 in an elementary school in Clinton Hill. The principal has been hired already. The plan is to start with 6th grade and add a grade for 2 years. This is what we have been waiting for! Now we really can tell 2 Trees that we don’t need or want their school!

  • davoyager

    This middle school is another gyp for the children of this neighborhood. Clinton Hill is quite far away, at the end of a 40 minute bus ride, even further away than the school I was forced to attend 40 years ago when there was no local public Junior High school for me or my classmates after 6th grade. Why can’t we have a neighborhood school like all the other neighborhoods in the city. This idea does not solve the problem here; it only serves to highlight how we in the middle class are continuously being short changed by our government.