Q: I heard Saint David's is expanding; can you tell me more about that?
A: Saint David's is in the process of renovating and expanding our facilities to create much needed mission-driven program space at our 89th Street Campus. Most of the project entails readapting space we already occupy in order to better serve our boys and faculty. The new space will include gymnasiums, large performance spaces, a new locker room, additional classrooms and multi-purpose spaces, plus much needed dining space, and administrative work space. The project is taking place on the site of what is now Graham House, a building and site that has been fully owned by Saint David's since 1972, and which is immediately adjacent to our main campus; therefore, Saint David's did not need to move to a new area or take over new space for this facility upgrade and expansion. Saint David's is not adding a high school to its program, or changing its mission.
Q: Why is Saint David's undertaking this redevelopment?
A: Saint David's has, for more than 66 years, fostered a unique intellectual and moral environment that has allowed the school to provide an exceptional, mission-focused education. After extensive strategic review, we determined that the current allocation of the school's physical plant resources is hampering our ability to meet programmatic needs. In order to address this issue we have gradually developed and refined over the past several years a comprehensive upgrade of our facilities so that the school's programs can fully realize their potential at the 89th Street Campus.
Q: Is this project necessary? If so, what specific needs does it address?
A: It is absolutely incumbent on the school to continue moving forward with its planned adaptive reuse/expansion program in order to reduce the problematic impact on our students, their schedules, and our overall programming that arises from:
Q: How much is this project going to cost?
A: We forecast a total project cost of approximately $70 million plus.
Q: How is the project being financed?
A: Saint David's physical upgrade will be entirely financed by privately raised funds. A portion of the funds will come from a campaign initiative and the rest will come from debt financing.
Q: Can you tell me more about the property where the project will take place?
A: Graham House is located adjacent to our current building. Saint David's purchased the property in 1972 with the intention of redeveloping the building as an extension of our main campus as needed. Over the years, we have gradually combined parts of the building with our school. We now have the need to integrate the entire building into our facilities, as well as the opportunity and resources to do so, in a way that we believe will maximize the benefits for the Saint David's community while minimizing any disruption to the students or to the neighborhood.
Q: What is happening to the 94th Street property (current gymnasium)?
A: Currently, Saint David's plans to maintain ownership. In the future, we will explore all of our options, including but not limited to, selling or leasing the property.
Q: Does Saint David's need to get approval from the City to expand?
A: Yes. Our plan requires approval of both the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which we received in the summers of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Q: When did construction begin?
A: We broke ground in June 2016.
Q: How long is the construction going to take?
A: We expect construction to occur and be completed over a 24-27 month period. At this point in the construction process, we estimate the project to be completed by summer 2018.
Q: Will construction impact students' school days?
A: Our top priority is ensuring that no sacrifices are made in our students' education during construction. All work that takes place during the school year will be planned in a way that has minimal impact on the boys' school days.
Q: Will construction impact the neighborhood?
A: We take great pride in having been a good neighbor and trusted member and benefactor of our community for over 66 years. While the presence of construction workers and machinery cannot be entirely avoided, we anticipate construction being substantially self-contained and our planning process will place great emphasis on ensuring that the least amount of disruption to our neighborhood and community takes place. We will continue to reach out directly to the community with additional details as they become known.
Q: What is Saint David's doing to keep the community informed and involved?
A: Saint David's has been proceeding methodically, with an eye toward cooperation, consultation, and ongoing dialogue with the Saint David's community as well as our immediate neighborhood and the surrounding community. We will continue engaging in a completely transparent process and have set up mechanisms that will allow ample face-to-face community interaction, and permit us to be as responsive as possible to any questions and concerns our neighbors may have.