Rockville Centre, NY – BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers has completed the extensive expansion and renovation of the South Side High School for the Rockville Centre Union Free School District located in Suffolk County on Long Island. BBS served as the architect; interior designer; technology designer; and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer for the school’s renovation.
According to BBS Principal Architect, Roger P. Smith, AIA, LEED AP, “The South Side High School project was a part of the $45.9 million school improvement bond issue that was approved by local voters in 2013. BBS serves as the multi-discipline design professional for the entire district-wide construction program, which includes the construction of additions to Watson Elementary School as well as numerous exterior and interior renovations, and upgrades to athletic facilities throughout the Rockville Centre School District.”
The South Side High School project involved the complete re-thinking of the existing building through renovation and expansion. The challenge was to implement the project in phases while students remained during construction. What began as a campus comprised of a main building and five (5) out-buildings containing twelve (12) additional instructional spaces became one fully improved main building on a completely redesigned site.
The school was in need of upgraded science lecture/labs, library, and other spaces as well as the re-introduction of all of the spaces that were then being housed outside the main building. The existing main building also had internal student traffic flow issues, and an imbalanced ability to generate capacity between the “front” of the building surrounding the auditorium, and the “back” of the building where most of the classrooms were located. One main hallway and several “T” intersections made it difficult for students to navigate within the building.
Two additions were proposed to resolve the issues presented above. New art, music and fitness spaces were created during the first phase of additions. New science lecture/lab spaces were created as well as a new library, student commons area, research facility and technical shop in the second phase of additions. Interior spaces were reconfigured within additional summer phases in order to create new science lecture/lab spaces as well as to increase the number of capacity-bearing classrooms at the “front” of the building.
All existing infrastructure systems have been evaluated and upgraded; air conditioning has been provided throughout. The entire building has been in some way renovated, with about a quarter of it being reconfigured spatially as well. The entire site was evaluated in order to facilitate construction activities, maintain the educational program throughout construction, and result in the most efficient use of available space in support of academic, athletic and overall student achievement.
Prior to creating the architectural designs for South Side and other projects included in the district’s overall school improvement program, BBS performed a review of existing facilities, analyzed demographic data and trends, assessed the cost of various alternatives, and gathered input from the district’s personnel and the local community. Based on this research, BBS developed the capital program that was divided into three distinctive areas: spatial needs, which encompass the necessary additional classrooms, administrative offices and other facilities; facility needs, which include the required maintenance and capital improvements to existing facilities and infrastructure; and the site work, which consists of sports fields, playgrounds, pick-up and drop-off loops, driveways, and parking areas.
BBS also assisted the district with the development of presentation materials for the voters. These materials outlined the district’s needs and details of the work to be included in the bond-funded program.