Highly Regarded Maritime School on Governors Island to Expand
Building 515, the historic structure (and former hospital) into which the Harbor School will expand.
A years-long campaign by Lower Manhattan community leaders, elected officials, and parents came to fruition on Monday when an agreement to expand the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island was released.
The Trust for Governors Island and the School Construction Authority (SCA) announced that several long-standing priorities will be addressed in one package of funding: the Harbor School will grow into a building adjacent to its current home, where it will have room for an additional 18 classrooms, a pool and a gymnasium.
“The New York Harbor School exemplifies the unique promise of Governors Island,” reflected Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, “a place of historic significance at the center of New York Harbor, with unprecedented opportunity for learning and engagement with our waterfront. The new facility will expand access to this unique curriculum to even more New York City high schoolers.”
For years, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Margaret Chin have pushed for funding that would make the expansion possible. (In 2019, Ms. Chin committed $1.2 million of her discretionary capital funding to begin planning the project.) “This expansion is exciting news for the future of the Harbor School,” said Ms. Brewer. “The construction of a new pool will be appropriate for certification for marine diving and lifeguard training.”
“When I first visited the Harbor School for its groundbreaking in 2012,” added Ms. Chin, “I could see that this educational institution is truly special. This development will allow the Harbor School to welcome hundreds of new students, who are currently on a wait-list. Maritime students will now be able to scuba dive in their own facilities.”
State Senator Brian Kavanagh noted that, “for nearly 20 years the Harbor School has offered unique educational opportunities to a diverse student body. Learning marine biology, sailing and other watercraft skills, and participating in the Billion Oyster Project all prepare students for careers engaging with and being good stewards of our natural environment.”
The Harbor School’s current home on Governors Island.
Nan Richardson, president of the Harbor School Parent-Teacher Association described the plan as “the realization of this dream,” and said the families she represents, “are thrilled and grateful that after parent advocacy for a decade, the Harbor School will finally get the space and facilities needed to fulfill this unique school’s mission. As our City faces many challenges with climate change, our students—trained in marine and maritime science—hope to help meet that future with imagination and now will have the skills and tools to do so.”
Tammy Meltzer, chair of Community Board 1 (CB1), added that, “we were thrilled and deeply grateful to hear that the long-promised pool, including a gym and additional classrooms, for the Harbor School has at last become a reality on Governors Island.”
Tricia Joyce, chair of CB1’s Youth and Education Committee, said, “we understand the challenges sustained in prioritizing this important infrastructure. We look forward not only to opening day, but to all of the rich opportunities this pool will create for the students of this cherished and unique program at the Harbor School.”
The Harbor School’s Marine and Science Technology (MAST) Center, which supports water-dependent activities.
The structure into which the Harbor School will expand, known as building 515, is a 61,000 square-foot former hospital, built in 1935 from a 1902 design by the highly regarded architecture firm of McKim, Mead, and White. (The Harbor School currently occupies nearly 80,000 square feet across two structures: Building 550 and the Marine and Science Technology—or MAST—Center, which supports the school’s water-dependent activities.) Subsequently converted into Enlisted Bachelor’s Housing during the Island’s centuries-long use as a military post, Building 515 was gutted in 1980, but its historic exterior was preserved.
The Harbor School became the first year-round tenant on Governors Island, after its was transferred from federal to local control in 2003. The School’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory education, built upon New York City’s maritime experience, with a focus on environmental stewardship.
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Community Board 1 Transportation & Street Activity Permits Committee
Wright and New York turns upside down the conventional notion that Frank Lloyd Wright hated the city, and the city was antagonistic to him. In this illustrated lecture based on his new book, Anthony Alofsin outlines the developments in Wright’s life and work that demonstrate how New York turned around his career in the late 1920s and early 1930s to position him for the glory—and branding—of his final decades. The talk focuses on Wright’s visionary design for an immense Modern Cathedral to serve all religions and for the skyscraper, he designed for the church of St. Marks-in-the-Bouwerie in New York’s East Village. Free
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Brewer Pushes for FiDi Thoroughfare to Be Made Pedestrian-Friendly in Perpetuity
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CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
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