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Work commences in SI for $35M school project.

Work commences in SI for $35M school project

One of New York City's largest new school projects has broken ground -- the $35.4 million expansion/renovation of Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, reports project architects Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron, Architects (SLCE).

The 163,000-square-foot project comprises a four-story addition and upgrade of the 64-year-old structure's existing space, according to Albert Efron, a partner in the 50-year-old, Manhattan-based firm of SLCE.

When the addition is completed in 1994, it will increase the school's capacity to accommodate 2,584 students and approximately 320 faculty and support staff. It also will add numerous specialized labs and classrooms. The total renovations will be finished in 1996.

Although the building was constructed in 1927 as a junior high school, it was converted almost immediately to a senior high school.

"And despite some additions made since then, certain facilities appropriate to upper grades -- labs, kitchens and athletic space -- were shoehorned into quarters that were not designed to receive them," said Efron.

The most striking new area is the planned high-tech drama/TV studio, Efron noted. With advanced audiovisual recording equipment and a linkup to Staten Island Cable, the facility will permit students to receive cable broadcasts, as well as produce and transmit their own presentations over the local cable network.

The addition also will contain 20 new classrooms, ceramic and transportation shops, a catering suite, a dance studio and administrative offices, said Saky Yakas, the SLCE associate partner in charge of the Port Richmond High School program.

"Under a phased construction plan," Yakas explained, "the addition will be completed first -- in about 21 months -- and then will be used as temporary |swing space' for various classes dislocated during the following two-year modernization phase."

The addition will contain the same floor-to-ceiling heights as the existing building, to facilitate connecting corridors, Yakas said. The exterior brick facade also will duplicate the original materials on the first floor, but will vary somewhat on the upper levels for visual diversity. A new porticoed doorway eventually will serve as the principal entry for the school.

The Port Richmond High School construction program is under the direction of the New York City School Construction Authority, an independent government agency established by the New York State Legislature in 1988 to oversee the design, construction, modernization and remodeling of the city's public schools.
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Title Annotation:Staten Island
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 28, 1991
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