We are excited to announce that last evening the Hoboken Historic Commission approved our proposed plans for “raising the roof” at 707 Washington Street as Phase 1 of our facilities expansion project. The decision comes after months of planning and analysis to design a suite of classrooms that will be constructed on the roof between the Penthouse and the upper reaches of the gymnasium. In effect, the one-third of our building that is two stories tall will be raised to include a third story. These additional three classrooms will provide the needed space to accommodate our growing school community, closing the shortfall of classrooms we would otherwise have faced as our double First Grade classes move through the upper elementary grades until we have two classes for each grade from Nursery to Grade 4 in the 2015-2016 School year.
We are now focused on obtaining financing for the project and are working toward starting construction at707 Washington Street immediately following the last day of school in June. The project timeline is for the shell of the structure and one additional classroom to be completed over the summer. The balance of the classrooms are expected to be completed by December, with interior finish work happening in the late afternoon and early evening as well as during school breaks. To the extent there are any delays, we will stick with our prior plan of utilizing the library for middle school seminar classes and/or existing space in the church until the classrooms are available.
The funds raised at Thursday’s auction will go toward this exciting project. We’ll have renderings and drawings of the plans available that night and hope that you’ll help us “Raise the Roof” by sponsoring “a bundle of bricks” and providing us with additional capital to invest in the project. In addition, we’ll be holding a “town hall” meeting to provide parents with the opportunity to learn more about the Washington Street project, as well as the significant progress made with regards to opportunities present at the Clinton Street site for future phases of development.
One additional benefit of this Phase I project, beyond the expected quick timeline for completion, is that it meets our near term space needs and provides time for our Board and the Parish Vestry to work through additional design options and opportunities for the property at Sixth and Clinton Streets. For eight months, we have been working on developing an expansion plan for the School on that property. However, there are challenges with the site, particularly as relates to the Church of the Holy Innocents, a historic building with significant structural issues. The Parish is currently addressing the near-term needs of the church. This work must be completed before we can finalize our longer-term expansion plans for the Clinton Street site.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our parents and staff for their patience and support as we work on this ambitious project. We give thanks also for the robust admissions season and for the promising future that lies ahead for our school community. We will continue to send updates in the coming months as the project work progresses. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about the project that you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me.