NEW BUILDING

Capacity

DRG Architects was tasked by the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) to conduct a research study to understand the educational, vocational, nutritional, physical and medical needs of students with a wide spectrum of disabilities and to provide recommendations for a new replacement school for R722 in Staten Island. The research included evaluating the existing school, visiting similar facilities in the metropolitan area and conducting interviews with school administrators, educators, vocational trainers, parents, students and therapists.  From the research a Program Of Requirements (POR) was created, and a vision for a new school concept was born. The concept was developed through intensive study of the students and staff’s daily needs, from drop off in the morning, to daily living, to crisis management, to medical care, to vocational training and daily life skills. Important to this concept was to provide a circulation pattern that would reduce drop off and pick up times by providing two entrances with long canopies that can accommodate over 10 buses at time that leads into a large lobby with multiple double-sided elevators, which form the spine of vertical circulation for the school. We also provided large stairs for able students, to encourage use of the stairs and develop their physical strength, endurance and independence.

Hungerford 1
 

Every aspect of the students, teachers, parents and staff’s needs were considered in the design of this school:

  • Educational Needs:  Classrooms are designed for small group instruction and to accommodate several different teaching styles, most fitted with their own bathrooms designed specifically for students with disabilities.
  • Vocational Needs: The school has a large Adaptive Daily Living space to instruct students on independent living in an apartment setting.  Also, a culinary arts classroom is provided, where students can show their talent by taking meal orders from staff, cooking, food preparation and the delivery of meals.
  • Nutritional Needs: The school has a large Cafeteria with enhanced acoustic features to reduce noise levels and multiple serving stations to accommodate different type of dietary meals being served for each students’ individual needs.
  • Physical Education Needs: The school will have a large Gym/Auditorium with a stage and multiple basketball courts with adjustable height backboards based on student’s physical ability. A large outdoor play area is provided with multiple sensory stations and specially designed playground equipment to accommodate wheelchairs. A dedicated basketball area for more able students is also provided.
  • Medical Needs: The school includes Sensory Rooms, Save Rooms, Physical Therapy Rooms, Speech Therapy and a Nurse Station on each floor.
  • Nurturing/Supportive Environment: The design of each space considered the comfort of disabled students, especially with severe medical conditions, from using indirect non-flicker LED lighting with adjustable color palate, to temperature-controlled rooms, to lowered windows in rooms to allow for full exterior views from a wheel chair and floor patterns that assist with wayfinding.

 

This school is a first of its kind, developed from the SCA’s vision to have a school purposely designed from the ground up to meet the unique needs and challenges required for students with special needs and disabilities in a nurturing, supportive environment.

hungerford entrance