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PR- 109-04
May 6, 2004


First Completely New School to be Built Under Reformed School Construction Process Construction Bid at $300 Per Square Foot - 31% Lower than in the Past

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and School Construction Authority President William Goldstein today broke ground on the High School of Architecture and Urban Planning in Ozone Park, Queens.  The high school will be the first completely new school to be constructed under the reformed school construction process, which was created in 2002 by merging the School Construction Authority (SCA) into the Department of Education (DOE).  By consolidating all functions related to planning, budgeting, real estate, scoping, design, construction and capital improvement, DOE has streamlined the school construction process and simplified design standards, resulting in this project's $300 per square foot bid.  The Mayor and Mr. Goldstein were joined by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Deputy Schools Chancellor Kathleen Grimm at the announcement.

"Eighteen months ago, we completely overhauled the school construction process in New York City, and today's groundbreaking for the High School of Architecture and Urban Planning, shows the savings these reforms are generating," Mayor Bloomberg said.  "We have made a notoriously inefficient system more rational and accountable, and are cutting the cost of construction significantly so we can build more schools and create more seats. I would like to thank School Construction Authority President Bill Goldstein for his leadership in making sure that we are not simply throwing money at problems, but making sure that we get the most for taxpayers money."

There have been three school construction bids since the reforms were implemented.  In June 2003, the addition to Queens Vocational High School drew a low bid of $315 per square foot.  In February 2004, the SCA awarded a contract for an addition to P.S. 12 in Queens for a price of $311 per square foot.  The current award of $300 per square foot for the new High School of Architecture and Urban Planning is 31% lower than the $433 average bid for schools completed last fall. The average price for the three projects bid so far is $305 per square foot. 

"It is essential that we maximize every dollar available to us for new schools and the creation of much needed seats for New York City's children," Deputy Chancellor Grimm said. "The High School for Architecture and Urban Planning is the first entirely new school to begin construction under the new streamlined process and will be the model for many more new schools to come."

"Today's groundbreaking marks a new era in SCA construction standards," SCA President Bill Goldstein said.  "Thanks to the Mayor and Chancellor, we have created an approach to design and construction that enables us to spend far less money per square foot on new school buildings than in previous years."

The new High School of Architecture and Urban Planning will be a four-story building spanning 150,000 square feet of space for over 1,000 students in grades 9 through 12.  The school, which will be fully air-conditioned, will contain standard classrooms, special education classrooms, District 75 classrooms, as well shops related to architecture and design and a floor devoted to science rooms.  In addition, the school will feature an indoor/outdoor area on the first floor, an atrium designed for the display of models, and an outdoor courtyard.  The school will also include a gymnasium, a cafeteria seating 325, and an auditorium that seats 300 students. 

The cost of construction for the High School of Architecture, which began in April, 2004, will be $44,900,000.  The high school is scheduled for completion in April, 2006; students will enter that fall.


Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Jerry Russo   (DOE)
(212) 341-5141

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