Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Robert A. Svetz

Honors Reader

Elletta S. Callahan

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Architecture | Landscape Architecture | Other Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


If society shows the need for a re-engagement with its surrounding nature in order to develop conscious environmental decisions, then a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school, with the careful design and testing of materials, courtyards, and circulation strategy, will be the vehicle through which everyday decisions are taught at the earliest age.

Problem | Statistics | 20 percent of Americans go to school every day, equating to 55 million students and nearly 5 million teachers and staff. More than 25 percent of those students and teachers are going to school in inadequate facilities where their health is at risk.[1]

Problem || Program | in an increasing number of new school building program requests, space for play, creative thinking, and outdoor activity is left undefined and underutilized, especially in urban locations.

Problem ||| New York City | in the lower two districts of Manhattan, population trends are steadily increasing, causing a need for new schools. In this area, many obstacles must be faced including noise, pollution, and view of automobiles, skyscrapers, and apartment-style housing, as well as, tight zoning laws with little space left for new construction in a dense area. Currently, there are only twelve elementary schools in the two districts and only one of them offers modern design with ample outdoor play space. Furthermore, four of the twelve schools lack gymnasiums and/or auditoriums, key community spaces for development. In addition, many of the schools are pushing overcrowding limits while some have already substantially exceeded suggested occupancy loads. [2] After review of the schools within the two zones, a site at the current Hernando de Soto, Public School 130 was chosen, a site located on the borders of Little Italy and Chinatown.

Solution | there are two things that must be accomplished to solve the above three problems. First, students must have the ability to learn in an environment that is adequate to their health. More importantly, however, they should have the ability to learn from their environment. Second, schools must implement sustainable and green measures within their design.

[1] Green Schools 101, U.S. Green Building Council, 2008, (2 September 2008).

[2] Your Independent Guide to NYC Schools, Advocates for Children of New York, 6 October 2008, (6 October 2008).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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