East Harlem School at Exodus House

309 East 103rd Street, New York, NY

Project Details

Completed 2008
27,800 sf
$10.6 million

Peter Gluck & Partners

NY State Department of Education

2009 BSA K-12 Education Facilities Design Awards, Award for Design Excellence
2009 BusinessWeek / Architectural Record 12th Annual “Good Design is Good Business” Awards, Citation for Excellence
2009 National Design-Build Excellence Award
2009 Society of American Registered Architects, Design Award of Honor
2010 NY Tri-State Region Awards, Design-Build Institute of America Project of the Year
2010 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards, Architecture Honor Award

The East Harlem School is a middle school that provides scholarships to students from low-income families in Harlem’s inner city community. The new school accommodates 131 students in grades 5-8, and operates year round.

The four-story building is a steel frame and pre-cast, hollow core, pre-tensioned concrete plank structure that bears on friction piles. The building actually sits in a flood zone (hard to believe on this inland site) and the piles both carried the weight of the building and supported the structure against uplift loads caused by potential floods. Other unique challenges include the long span conditions at the gymnasium and the crenulated front entry conditions. Silman worked closely with the architect to make this a very efficient and cost-effective structural system, constantly honing the design as construction proceeded to ensure the maximum efficiency.

Classrooms, science labs and other academic spaces are located on the upper floors. A large cafeteria, gymnasium and community programs are located on the second floor and basement levels.