Located in an 1885 landmarked building originally built as a silk ribbon mill, the New Heights Academy Charter School along with Civic Builders approached ESKW/A to expand their existing school program. The school previously occupied part of the cellar, first and second floors, and through this renovation expanded to fill the majority of the three-story building.
To accommodate the school’s growing student population, ESKW/A’s new plan allowed for an additional 17 classrooms, made possible by infilling an existing double height sanctuary space on the third floor. The infill also provided an opportunity to connect the school’s circulation, allowing the flow and identity of the school to be codified in spite of its existing leggy configuration. Working within a tight budget, the design used the school’s signature colors in a creative way, incorporating zips of colors in the stairwells and corridors. We took advantage of the original “K” shape of the building to maximize daylight in the single-loaded corridors and the classrooms.