Bay Shore Armory Conversion into Universal Pre-Kindergarten Center

In 2011 state legislation was signed that allowed the ownership of the former New York State Armory site in Bay Shore, NY, to be transferred to the local school district. As part of the property purchase, school officials agreed to renovate the vacant buildings by using allocated federal stimulus funds and other funds raised locally. After a series of public meetings and discussions with the community, the decision was made to adaptively reuse the site as a modern Universal Pre-Kindergarten Center.

Located on 4 acres just south of Sunrise Highway, the original Bay Shore Armory property included two large buildings – the former Drill Hall/Head House and the Garage/ Maintenance Building. After a thorough needs analysis, BBS has ascertained that both these structures could be utilized in accommodating the proposed preschool programs; several arrangements and possible facility configurations were presented to the District for consideration.

In the end, the former 17,900-square-foot “Drill Hall” and “Head House” were re-designed as a new Cafeteria/Multi-functional Commons area, and a separate 12,000-square-foot Garage/Maintenance Building to the south was re-purposed to house 12 new classrooms. A third, brand-new structure designed by BBS connects the two original buildings; it features a light-filled lobby with an entrance vestibule/canopy, both intended to significantly mark the main entry on Brentwood Road. The connector building contains a flexible library and media open space, administrative offices, and other support areas.

With this unique example of re-purposing existing community buildings for alternative use, BBS fully embraced sustainability as a means of delivering 21st-century education environments – while bringing life to a once abandoned facility. In August 2020, the former Bay Shore Armory was abated of all hazardous materials, and the south building was fully gutted. The construction of new classrooms was substantially completed in October 2020, and the facility opened its doors to Bay Shore children on November 2, 2020.