On Monday June 7th, 2021 the Bronxville Union Free School District community came together to celebrate the opening of the new additions and renovations to the district’s 100-year old K-12 Bronxville School, located in Bronxville, NY. The improvements are the result of a well-conceived process to revitalize and modernize the school, which began with the bond referendum approved on the first vote in 2018. The project’s goal was to provide new high-tech collaborative learning environments, restore the building envelope, and construct three additions to expand the undersized cafeteria, entrance lobby, and guidance suite.
“It was obvious from the start of our relationship in Bronxville, the stakeholders felt very passionately about providing a design solution that complemented the historic character of the building and delivering a solution to the community that honored the Bronxville Promise – to lead, to innovate, engage the world and to think critically,” said LAN Assistant Vice President and architect in charge of the project Matthew Milnamow. “We feel the additions seamlessly blend into the fabric of the existing architecture while providing innovative instructional spaces and modernized infrastructure.”
LAN worked with the district to transform a school boiler room into a state-of-the-art “Innovation Center.” The Innovation Center focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The new instruction space is furnished with prototyping equipment, such as 3D printers, and a computer numerical control (CNC) machine that controls the laser engraver. Large tables and moveable furnishings were included to create a flexible learning space that can accommodate diverse instructional initiatives. The space also incorporates high-tech interactive display panels and computer/media stations for design and Computer Aided Drafting (CAD).
The “Learning Commons” on the 3rd floor was designed to create open common areas flanked by “Think Pods” provided with interactive touch displays to foster student interaction and collaboration. The lab spaces next to the Learning Commons enable the Bronxville UFSD to offer project-based learning curriculum, like studying the effects of pollution on the adjacent Bronx River, that uniquely connect the students with the local environment.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the capital projects that not only captures our need to renovate our learning spaces to match our instruction, but also preserves and adds to the character of our 100-year-old building,” said district Superintendent Dr. Roy R. Montesano. “The architects from LAN listened to our needs and priorities and developed a solution that is in line with our instructional vision and future classrooms needs. We are excited to share the final projects with our community.”
The existing cafeteria was considerably undersized, making it necessary for middle and high school students to leave campus for lunch. The cafeteria addition doubles the school’s dining capacity and renovations to the existing cafeteria creating a “Servery” area that offers grab-and-go lunch options to improve the serving efficiency. Together, these improvements will enable all students to eat lunch on campus.
The aesthetic of the guidance suite complements the collegiate gothic architecture of the original building. By improving the environment for students to research post-graduate options, and providing space to meet with college recruiters, the new guidance suite will play a key role in the district’s focus on advancing students’ higher educational opportunities.
The project also included a new artificial turf football field, resurfacing of the track, and the replacement of an elementary school playground.