Type of construction:Renovation
Architect:Weisz + Yoes Architecture
In 2003, with a curriculum focused on arts education, Bronx Arts opened its doors with 162 students in grades K-3 in incubation space provided by the NYC Department of Education. In the fall of 2005, Bronx Arts moved into its newly completed, permanent facility on Longfellow Avenue in Hunts Point. As building owner, Civic leases the facility to Bronx Arts at substantially below market rent.
Through their extensive experience in negotiation, Civic held together a complex and fragile deal despite many obstacles. When a zoning problem threatened to derail construction, Civic enlisted School Chancellor Joel Klein to help. Furthermore, by managing the entire renovation, Civic ensured that the highest quality project was delivered - on time and on budget.
“I never could have done it alone,” says Director of Bronx Arts Xanthe Jory. Jory cites Civic’s understanding of charter school needs as one of its greatest strengths. Civic helped her to analyze and address both immediate and long term space requirements, and they readily incorporated specific curriculum needs, such as art and dance studios. Most importantly, Jory believes that Civic Builders shared her vision of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts as an agent of community change. “We want to improve the community beyond test scores,” she said. A state-of-the-art facility helps to accomplish this. Of Annie Tirschwell, Civic’s Senior Vice President of Real Estate, and David Umansky, its CEO, Jory says. “They were smart, flexible, and very understanding” in helping her realize this vision through the creation of Bronx Charter’s permanent home.