South Bay Elementary School

West Babylon, New York

This project came about in an unfortunate way: an overnight fire severely damaged the school during winter 2009. Two hundred firefighters from 16 fire departments battled flames for hours.

By morning, a majority of the 47,000-square-foot school was destroyed, and 75 percent of the exterior walls were damaged beyond repair. Most ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY369COST PER SQ FT$300.00FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio not burned during the fire suffered smoke damage and required renovations. No one was injured during the blaze, but the loss of the elementary school was devastating to the community.

Reacting quickly, the architect worked closely with the school district, local community and New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal (NYSIR), to establish a plan of action, which included finding a temporary school for students, expediting approval processes with municipal entities, and redesigning and rebuilding the school within an ambitious 11 1/2-month schedule.

Every aspect of the building has been improved, including ADA accessibility, the HVAC system, structural system, overall educational planning efficiency and sustainability.

This project is a prime example of the success that can be achieved through the teamwork, dedication and positive collaboration of public and private entities.