The Harlem Children's Zone broke ground in April, but the first renderings for the future charter school hit the blogs today, courtesy of Harlem + Bespoke. To recap, the $100 million plan includes a ground-up 130,000-square-foot school on the grounds of Saint Nicholas Houses, with capacity for 1,300 students and giving priority to Saint Nick residents. The 'charter' part will be operated by Harlem Children's Zone, a private organization headed by Geoffrey Canada, a close ally of Mayor Bloomberg.
A group of 129th Street locals initially resisted the school's placement, where it would knock out a playground and community garden, and argued that "only 63% of the district's public school seats were filled" to begin with.
The building and site plan are designed by John Ciardullo Architects, a local firm specializing in school and civic building. Most notable in the site plan is the remapped portion of West 129th Street in the middle of the Saint Nicholas complex; it will re-connect the street to the housing project's boundary avenues and allocate approximately 26,500 square feet of public space for city usage.
· The new HCZ building [Harlem + Bespoke]
· Harlem up in arms over new charter school [NYDN]