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governors island, NY


New York City School Construction Authority


Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award – 2011


American School & University – 2013

Green Building Design – July/August 2011

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School was selected to be the first non-military tenant of Governors Island placing their students in the heart of the harbor that is the foundation of their studies.  Building 550 was leased by the NYC Department of Education for the New York Harbor School.  Built in 1940 as barracks for the Coast Guard, the masonry building required extensive renovation to transform into a public high school.  Due to its location in the historic district, any modifications required the approval of NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission as well as the local Community Board.


Along with the rigorous classroom and administration space standards of NYCSCA, the program was tailored to address the specific curriculum requirements of the NY Harbor School.  A marine science classroom includes extensive aquaculture equipment where students raise lobsters, oysters and tilapia.  A boat historically linked to the harbor, the NY Sloop, will be constructed in the Wood and Metal Marine Technology shop. Dedication to the school’s educational principles of hands-on, inquiry based learning can be felt throughout the school from the large aquarium greeting students and staff in the two story entrance lobby to the organic garden opposite the basketball court.

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