SAR Academy and High School was the first school in New York City to close its doors in the spring due to rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 throughout the city. Although the students and teachers quickly adapted to a new mode of remote, virtual learning, the administration was quick to acknowledge and address the need to plan for a safe and cohesive reopening scheme when the time came to return to in-person learning.
Studio ST Architects collaborated with HSB Architecture and Design to update the school’s facilities and campus using the concept of radical flexibility. Changes included revisions to classroom sizes, space and facilities usage, traffic and circulation pathways, updated signage and HVAC systems, as well as changes in student and teacher behaviors and interactions. Each design intervention was research-driven and science-backed, and prioritized the health and safety of all staff and students while maintaining the school’s mission and addressing the community and administration’s concerns.
With these COVID-19-safe updates in place, SAR Academy and High School was able to reopen for in-person learning this fall.
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