MetSchools has chosen the architectural firm of John Ciardullo, a well-regarded and very experienced school design team. Amongst the numerous schools in their portfolio are Beacon High School and the new Harlem Children’s Zone building. Their expertise has been invaluable in guiding us to take a thorough look at our entire building. We want to ensure the best use of space in Prekindergarten all the way through 8th Grade. Offices, teacher workspace, infrastructure, library and the cafeteria – as well as dedicated Middle School classroom spaces – all need to be accommodated in the construction plan.
Starting next month, construction will begin on the 8th floor beginning with our new Middle School science lab. We consulted science teachers across the city to inform our design of a lab that promotes collaboration, investigation and best safety practices. Multiple sinks well-spaced, retractable electrical outlets, “smart” classroom projectors, moveable lab tables and great storage space will support our inquiry-based science program.
When designing our new Middle School art studio, we were inspired by passion and energy of the Williamsburg neighborhood. Starting with the phenomenal light and the inspiring view over Brooklyn, Ciardullo has created a room with large tables, a long trough sink, projector and more great storage for materials. It will be both a highly functional and esthetically pleasing environment.
Equally important, although involving less construction, are the seminar rooms for math, humanities and second language. These classroom spaces already exist on the 7th floor but need to be furnished and equipped to support specific disciplines. This will also be the home territory for Middle School students, with the majority of advisory groups meeting here close to their lockers.
To accompany the new classroom spaces on the 8th floor, we have designed a flex space that can be used as a technology and design lab, performing arts rehearsal space, or yoga studio. Around the building, a new Middle School music room and update of our Library are also in the works, along with updated office spaces for our school psychologist, our new Director of Teaching & Learning and, of course, Elie Deu, our Head of School.
This ability to design spaces to match our program, on a schedule that supports that program, is of real benefit to WNS. We knew what we wanted and Ciardullo made it work. I can’t wait for you all to see the results later this winter.
Director of Middle School Planning