"The building consists of approximately 12,500 square feet per floor times six floors (including the cellar) for an approximate total gross square footage of 75,000 square feet. According to the latest figures of the Moreland Commission, the average cost for building a new school in New York City in 2002 was $432 per square foot, compared to $146 per square foot nationally. According to studies by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the rehabilitation and preservation of existing structures is at least 25% less expensive to rehabilitate than to build brand new construction. Therefore, if the City were to build a brand new 75,000 square foot school building at this site it would cost about $32,400,000 (at $432/square foot), excluding demolition costs, which could be another $4,000,000.00 (at $53/square foot). To renovate the existing Public School 109 it would cost at least 25% less or $24,300,000 (at $324/square foot). See Estimated Construction Costs below.

Raymond Plumey

Architect & Planner, P.C.
308 Pleasant Avenue
New York, NY 10035-4417
(212) 410-4931
(212) 410-3721 fax
rplumey@aol.com

Preliminary Architectural Feasibility Study
Public School 109
215 East 99th Street
New York, NY 10029
Block 1648 Lor 9

March 12, 2004

Introduction

This is a preliminary architectural feasibility study to determine the feasibility of the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptive use of the now vacant and sealed Public School 109, located at 215 East 99th Street, in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. this feasibility study will determine a design program and preliminary cost estimate to renovate this school and put it back into service as a community public school. This report is issued for review and discussion only and is not to be represented as a complete in depth survey, a detailed programming exercise or a final cost estimate.

Qualifications

Raymond Plumey, AIA, Architect & Planner, PC: (1) has over 30-years of professional experience, (2) has been self-employed since 1988, (3) is licensed to practice architecture in the State of New York, (4) is a certificate holdere of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, (5) is the recipient of several design awards in historic preservation from The Municipal Art Society, The New York Landmarks Conservancy and the New York Society of Architects, (6) is a member of the American Institute of Architectgs, (7) and is an adjunctassistant professeor at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where he lectures on historic preservation.

Relevant Experience

In 1996, Raymond Plumey, AIA, along with Lee Borrero, RA, completed the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptive use of former public school 72, located at 1680 Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, into the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center. The former public school had been vacant for about 15-years, and was built in 1879-1881, as the first large school building in the borough of Manhattan. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1997, by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and ws the recipient of several preservation design awards. The clients for the rehabilitation of the former public school were the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The total square footage of the building, including the cellar was 60,000 square feet. The cost to renovate the building in 1989 dollars was $5.3 millian or $88 per square foot. The scope of the work included construction, a new theatre, artist studios, new bathrooms, new conveying systems, new mechanical, plumbing, fire protection and electrical systems. Four prime contractors, under the New York State Wicks Law, undertook the reconstruction.

History and Architecture of Public School 109
(Source: National Register of Historic Places Registration Form June 2, 2000)

Built in 1898, the building has 5-stories designed in the late 19th century Collegiate Gothic Revival design style. Charles B. J. Snyder, then Superintendant of Schools, designed the school building. The property measures 150-feet fronting East 99th Street and is 201-feet in depth. The building design is an H-plan is situated on the lot so that large courtyards fronted the streets. East 100th Street was demapped in order to accommodate large public housing built in the 1960's. The primary facades face the streets, whereas the secondary facades originally abutted smaller residential buildings, which were subsequently demolished.

The Collegiate Gothic style combines Late Gothic Revival and English or French Renaissance Motifs and is reminiscent of the educational buildings at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. P.S. 109 has elements of this style, which include, steeply pitched roofs, label moldings, terra cotta dormers, turrets, and a copper-clad spire. Limestone forms the base of the building, and rises 5-stories in bricck highlighted by terro cotta detailing. The fifth floor is within a steeply pitched cable roof and is notable for its numerous gabled dormers. The large window openings and the H-shape plan provide the interiors with plentiful amounts of natural light and ventilation. The fif floor boasts not only the elaborate French Renaissance dormer windows but also skylights, which introduce more natural light to the upper classrooms and corridors.

The entire building, including the roof and dormers, is framed in steel and cast iron. The steel members are bolted to their attachments. All of the floors are framed by parallel rows of brick barrel vaults supported on steel beams. Above the vaults, a thick layer of cinder and lime creates a level floor surface and provides sound insulation.Theessential walls are of solid 12-inch masonry. The sub-roofing consists of masonry panels resting on steel rafters. The original material of the roof was slate; the current roof is built-up asphalt. The original slate roof tiles were nailed directly into these "nailcrete" panels. The central roof spire and other trim are copper. The Gothic Revival roof spire and smaller turrets function as air exhausts and are integral parts of the building's original fresh air ventilation system. The architectural terra cotta is glazed in color similar to natural limestone. The base of the facades and the entrance portal are made of dressed limestone.

Although vacated in 1995 and deteriorated, the interior retains much of its original plan and materials. The layout of the classrooms and halls are intact. The interior finishes are simple and durable. The consist of painted plaster walls with heavy wood baseboards, trim and door enframements. Details include wood and glass doors and windows, oak strip floors and decorative presed metals ceilings with cove cornices. The auditorium and gymnasuim, located in the center block, have plaster ceilings.

Since its construction to the present, the school has undergone some changes. The original slate roof was removed; the original iron fences in front of the courtyards bave been removed, the original entrance portal was cut back. In 1999, the New York City School Construction Authority began preparations for the demolition of the school, which included the removal of many of the architectural terra cotta units from teh fifth floor dormers, which were carefully removed and are stored in the building; window sashes were removed on the fourth and fifth floors; the roof was stripped down to the concrete structural panels and the skylights were removed; and finally some stripping of the wooden flooring hadd finishes. In 1999, when Gwen Goodwin and her Coalition to Save Public School 109 halted demolition, the School Construction Authority undertook the following steps; the dormers, roofs and skylights were sealed with plywood and tarpaulins so as to temporarily protect the building from the weather. Also in 1999, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, with the help of a structural consultant, determined that the building was structurally sound and was not in imminent danger of collapse.

In 2000, Public School 109 was listede on the State and National Register of Historic Places, in an application prepared by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Unfortunately, P.S. 109 is not yet a New York City Landmark, although other public schools in the city by Charles C.B. Snyder are listed.

Proposed Program

The following is the proposed program, using the existing classroom, corridors and office layouts:


  1. Cellar Floor - mechanical spaces
  2. First Floor - kindegarten (40-students), play areas (625-students), cafeteria (125-students)
  3. Second Floor - auditorium (375-students), administrative offices (20-staff), 7 classrooms (210 students)
  4. Third Floor - library (50-students), 14 classrooms (420-students)
  5. Fourth Floor - 16 classrooms (480-students)
  6. Fifth Floor - Gymnasium (250 students)

The building, based on the above program, will be able to accommodate 1,150-students, 20-staff and approximately 40 teachers.

Scope of the Work

The preliminary scope of the reconstruction work would entail the following: general conditions, partial demolition, site clearing, water distribution, sanitary sewage systems, natural gas distribution, curbs and gutters, site improvements and amenities, fences and gates, cast-in-place concrete, concrete finishes, natural stone, terra cotta, masonry assemblies, masonry restoration and cleaning, structural steel, steel deck, metal fabrications, metal stairs, pipe and tube railings, gratings, ornamental metals, ornamental handrails and railings, rough carpentry, architectural woodwork, bituminous dampproofing, sheet waterproofing, water repellents, building insulation, slate roofing, flashing and sheetmetal, roof specialties, fireproofing, firestopping, joint sealers, steel doors and frames, stile and rail wood doors, access doors and panels, accordion folding doors, wood windows, metal framed skylights, door hardward, glazing, furring and lathing, gypsum plaster, gypsum board assemblies, tile, cut natural stone tile, terrazzo, wood flooring, resilient flooring, resilient base and accessories, acoustical wall treatment, painting, visual display boards, compartments and cubicles, wall louvers, flagpoles, directories, exterior signage, interior signage, metal lockers, fire extinguishers and cabinets, accordion folding partitions, toilet accessories, library equipment, folding and portable stages, projection screens, food service equipment, laboratoy casework, window treatments, telescoping bleachers, lightning protection, lighting control, detection and alarms, fire suppression, fire pumps, mechanical insulation, building services piping, beating and cooling piping, refrigerant piping, natural gas piping, plumbing fixtures, plumbing pumps, plumbing equipment, heating boilers and accessories, air distribution, ducts and duct accessories, hvac instrumentation and controls, testing, balancing and adjusting of hvac, conductors and cables, raceways and boxes, wiring devices, transmission and distribution, interior luminaires, exterior luminaires, special purpose lighting, telephone and intercommunication equipment, public address systems, television equipment.

Estimted Construction Costs

The building consists of approximately 12,500 square feet per floor times six floors (including the cellar) for an approximate total gross square footage of 75,000 square feet. According to the latest figures of the Moreland Commission, the average cost for building a new school in New York City in 2002 was $432 per square foot, compared to $146 per square foot nationally. According to studies by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the rehabilitation and preservation of existing structures is at least 25% less expensive to rehabilitate than to build brand new construction. Therefore, if the City were to build a brand new 75,000 square foot school building at this site it would cost about $32,400,000 (at $432/square foot), excluding demolition costs, which could be another $4,000,000.00 (at $53/square foot). To renovate the existing Public School 109 it would cost at least 25% less or $24,300,000 (at $324/square foot).

Attachments

Attached are schematic plans of the existing building program, and include the following:


  1. Existing Conditions - Preliminary Progamming
  2. Existing Conditions - First Floor
  3. Existing Conditions - Second Floor
  4. Existing Conditions - Third Floor
  5. Existing Conditions - Fourth Floor
  6. Existing Conditions - Fifth Floor


End or Report
RP/ndp