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PR- 312-06
August 29, 2006


3,641 New Classroom Seats Have Been Added Across the City for the New School Year

School Constructed At 25% Cost Savings Compared to Four Years Ago

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today toured the newly constructed Bathgate Educational Campus in the Bronx. The campus, located at 1595 Bathgate Avenue, will open this fall with capacity for more than 1,300 students. It will house four schools, including Mott Hall Bronx High School, Validus Preparatory Academy, Urban Assembly for Applied Math and Science, and the Explorations Academy. Construction on the Bathgate Campus was completed in August at a cost of $52 million. This school year alone, as part of  the Department of Education’s (DOE) five-year $13.1 billion capital construction plan, 3,641 new classroom seats have been added across the City – 1,313 in the Bronx, 1,033 in Queens, 1,052 in Brooklyn, and 243 in Manhattan. In total, the five-year plan calls for the creation of 66,000 new classroom seats and 107 newly constructed school buildings.  Mayor Bloomberg was also joined by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, School Construction Authority President Sharon Greenberger and principals from the four schools for the announcement.

“The start of school is just around the corner, and today we’re getting an early preview of one of the City’s newest school additions,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Bathgate Educational Campus is a top-notch learning facility with high-tech science labs, a large shared library and world-class music and choral space. We’re committed to providing every child with a high-quality education and that commitment includes creating schools that inspire and enrich learning in vibrant and dynamic spaces. Over the next three years, we’ll add dozens of new school buildings that are cost-effective and emphasize flexibility in space utilization to benefit future generations of public school students.”

“This stunning campus represents our commitment to giving each of our students the high-quality, 21st-century education they need and deserve,” said Chancellor Klein. “Any parent would be thrilled to send their child to a facility as bright and inspiring as Bathgate.”

“The School Construction Authority has been working hard to find creative ways to use available space and create new space for New York City students,” said SCA President Greenberger. “This new facility is just one of the more than one-hundred schools we will build for our kids.  I believe this is a great harbinger of things to come.”

The construction of new City schools under the DOE Capital Plan is guided by three key values: creating dynamic and vibrant learning environments, using natural light, texture, color, and art; creating facilities that are flexible and adaptable enough to meet the needs of the future; and designing buildings that are cost-effective, through streamlined design standards and new technologies. In 2002, the average award contract price of schools under construction was $438 per square foot. The award contract for the construction of the Bathgate Campus was $358 per square foot. Adjusted for inflation this represents a savings of more than 25%.

The design of the Bathgate Educational Campus embodies the three key values. Located on the border of an industrial park and a mixed residential and commercial area in the Tremont section of the Bronx, the 140,000 square foot two-story building houses three large science labs, two art spaces, a choral and music room, a shared library and cafeteria and 5,000 square feet of flexible, multi-purpose space. The fully air-conditioned campus building has 37 classrooms. This fall, four schools will be housed on the Bathgate Campus including:

  • Urban Assembly for Applied Math & Science – opened in 2004, this school works to develop and prepare all of our students to become compassionate critical thinkers capable of successful pursuits after high school. The mathematical sciences are celebrated at this school. 
  • Explorations Academy – opened in 2005, this school offers a unique program that involves the participation of experts in various fields who work with students in project-based learning at cultural institutions and colleges.  Students are enrolled in classes on college campuses during grades 9-12. 
  • Mott Hall Bronx High School – opened in 2005, this school uses the inquiry method to promote advanced studies in Art, Mathematics, Science and Humanities.  The school’s instructional program integrates computer technologies and a variety of software applications into the exploration and completion of instructional inquiries.  Personal development is strongly emphasized and is built on a behavior code of Seven Character Themes:  Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Integrity, Compassion, Generosity and Fairness. 
  • Validus Preparatory Academy – opened in 2005, this school has an emphasis on health issues, daily physical exercise and hands-on, real world learning. Through Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, students experience a five-day Challenge Course and ongoing Learning Expeditions that involve using classroom skills and knowledge to solve real problems in the community.  Each student maintains a portfolio of his/her work and presents the portfolio to an independent panel.
The new seats created this year bring the total number of seats created since Mayoral control to more than 47,000.  At the completion of the Capital Plan, a total of 100,000 seats will have been created under Mayoral control.


Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam   (212) 788-2958


David Cantor   (Dept. of Education)
(212) 374-5141

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