Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Design Phase Continues

Last week Monday, there was a special meeting of the Hudson City School District Board of Education. It was held in the cafeteria of Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School so that board members and the superintendent could explore the site of the proposed addition to the 1937 WPA school building. As a consequence of that meeting, HCSD superintendent Maria Suttmeier asked the architects for some alternative designs. She shared those designs with the board at its regular meeting this past Monday night, September 26. As a reminder to readers, this is the design that was under consideration at the time.

The first request was to show what the proposed one-story building would look like without the central gable and with a facade that was all brick instead of being part brick and part faux stone. This is the elevation drawing the architects provided, which Suttmeier presented to the board on Monday night.

The limestone banding over the first floor windows of the original building would continue at the same level on the addition.

Because she was concerned about how far out from the original building the proposed one-story addition extended, Suttmeier also asked the architects to explore a way, other than a two-story building which was estimated to cost $1.2 million more than the budget, to keep the new addition closer and avoid the need for a retaining wall. Their proposal, which Suttmeier showed the board on Monday night, involved building first-grade classrooms on top of the existing tech wing and kindergarten classrooms in an addition south of the tech wing. This plan would bring the gymnasium--two stories in height--to the front. These are the floor plans for that alternative.

The architects also provided two elevations to show what the alternative configuration would look like. The first shows the gymnasium with a flat roof.

The second shows the gymnasium with a pitched roof and faux chimneys, which is the architectural element from the historic Colonial Revival building that was replicated in the 1997 addition.

The architects have been asked to calculate the cost of the most recent proposal both with a flat roof on the gymnasium and with a pitched roof and faux chimneys, which is the design element that would tie this new addition with the original building and with the 1997 addition and would also address the compatibility issues of massing, size, and scale.

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