Mayor Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today broke ground on the new Beacon High School in Manhattan. The six-story building – formerly a New York Public Library Annex – will be completely renovated to accommodate more students and feature high-quality classroom resources including wireless internet access, state-of-the-art technology labs, a dark room, a black box theatre, music suite, library and exercise facility. An additional seventh floor will be built to provide a regulation-size, 7,500 square foot gymnasium and separate 432-seat auditorium.
The new, larger school will accommodate 1,487 students, including for special education District 75 students. The Mayor was joined at the groundbreaking in Midtown Manhattan by Council Member Gale Brewer, Beacon High School Principal Ruth Lacey, School Construction Authority President and CEO Lorraine Grillo, Department of Education CEO Jeffrey Shear, District 75 Superintendent Gary Hecht and Council Member Gale Brewer.
“Our public school students live in the most dynamic city in the world, and we are working to make sure our classroom match those resources,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The new Beacon High School building will offer Wi-Fi, science labs and arts suites to complement and support our students’ innovation. Most importantly, it will provide more space for one of our most successful and growing high schools.”
“Today’s groundbreaking is the first step in providing even more resources to build on this school community’s interests and talents,” said Chancellor Walcott. “We are so thrilled for the exciting opportunities this state-of-the-art campus will allow, and I want to thank the School Construction Authority for their work on this project.”
“In its new home, the Beacon High School will be able to continue its tradition of excellence while offering students many new, exciting and state-of-the-art resources,” said Speaker Quinn. “We are thankful to everyone who worked to make this day possible and congratulations to all the students who will get to enjoy this wonderful new school.”
“The former library site will be completely gutted and rebuilt from the inside as we incorporate the latest environmentally friendly materials in design and construction,” said School Construction Authority President and CEO Grillo.
“This is a remarkable day for our students who will learn about science while conducting experiments in a state-of-the-art science lab and they will be introduced to various instruments and learn how to paint in new music and art classrooms,” Beacon High School Principal Ruth Lacey said.
The New York City School Construction Authority acquired the new Beacon High School site from the New York Public Library. The architecture firm John Ciardullo & Associates is responsible for the design, and the school is expected to open in September 2015.
The new school is a part of the Department of Education’s $11.3 billion Capital Plan. This September, the City will open 14 newly constructed or renovated school buildings to add 9,453 more student seats. In the last 10 years, the Bloomberg Administration has created 116,000 total student seats.