The new middle school, community center, and city green project is an important civic achievement for the city of Peekskill.
• It replaced an antiquated 1920s traditional school with a light-filled, contemporary building that supports collaborative learning;
• It created a new recreation center that is open CAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$361.43FEATURED IN2014 Architectural Portfolio the community year-round;
• It has transformed the adjacent residential community with a new open green space and enhanced views of the Hudson River.
The site, with its magnificent views of the Hudson River, is bounded by a residential street on the east (Ringgold Street) and a commercial street on the west (Washington Street). There is an 80-foot change in grade between the two streets. One significant challenge was constructing the project on the site’s western escarpment to create the new city green on the flat land to the east of the building. The other challenge was creating a community center attached to the school, but distinctly separate from it, that would remain open seven days and evenings a week.
The new building is a five-story structure as seen from the west, but is only two stories as seen from Ringgold Street on the east. The multi-level lobby, accessible from west and east, connects the school and the community recreation wings. The school accommodates 800 to 1,000 students in grades 6 to 8 in two academic houses on three floors. The recreation wings contain a 500-seat auditorium, a cafeteria with spectacular river views, a competition swimming pool with locker rooms, and a competition gym with bleachers and two playing courts.
The project has created an important asset for middle school children and for the community as a whole. Peekskill has gained a vibrant school and recreation center, and the residential neighborhood surrounding the project has been transformed.