Expansion planned at New York Harbor School on Governors Island

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New York Construction Report staff writer

A plan to expand the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island will double the school’s footprint from two to four buildings — including one that will be newly constructed.

The expansion will not only increase the classroom space, but also add a pool, gymnasium and lab space to support the school’s unique maritime and environmental curriculum.

“For many New Yorkers, Governors Island is a place to get away over the weekend. And for so many others, it is a place to learn about our world or prepare our city for the threats of climate change,” said New York City mayor Eric Adams. “This project will give our young people the best of all worlds: a holistic, high-quality education, brand new facilities to help students learn, and access to one of our city’s gems where nature truly is the classroom.”

Expansion plans include construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility located on a site within the Island’s Western Development Zone to house a competition-sized pool to support the school’s unique water-dependent maritime programs, gymnasium, and expanded laboratory space dedicated to career-technical training and research.

It will be the first new construction building located within a development zone on Governors Island since its transfer from federal to local control and will be a key component of the trust’s planned multi-tenant Center for Climate Solutions. The construction of the new pool, gymnasium, and laboratory facility will demonstrate bold sustainable and resilient design as outlined in the trust’s goals for the Climate Center and the island’s overall transformation.

The School Construction Authority will also renovate Building 555 — a designated landmark building originally constructed in 1938 as family housing by the United States Army — to support 32,000 sq. ft. of additional classroom space. Both projects will expand the Harbor School’s facilities on Governors Island from two buildings to four. The overall expansion project includes capital funding support from the New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

Harbor School — a DOE public high school — is to provide a college-preparatory education built upon New York City’s maritime experience with a focus on environmental stewardship.

“The Urban Assembly Harbor School is an incredible example of how a school’s campus and facilities can help mold our students’ passions, interests, and, ultimately, their path to economic security. Most importantly, we listened to and heard from the students, educators, and families of the Harbor School, who advocated for these facility investments,” said DOE Chancellor David C. Banks.

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