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Project File: Building bridges

Truman High School was built in 1970 and is part of a five-school complex known as the Northeast Bronx Education Park. The school is a seven-story brick and concrete structure built around a courtyard.

Each side of the courtyard has a double-loaded corridor plan, with stair towers at the external corners. The length of the corridor on each floor is 850 feet, making it time-consuming to get from one side of the school to the other, particularly when traveling to different floors. Also, the school is in need of additional classroom space.

A $20 million renovation of the high school and other parts of the campus is in the construction- administration phase. The second phase of the project involves an intervention in the courtyard.

To create access across the building from floor to floor, the architect has designed eight ramped bridge-corridors that crisscross the courtyard. Each bridge stretches from the corridor on one side of the building to the corridor on the opposite side, either on the floor above or below.

School lockers will be moved to the bridge-corridors, creating a space of social interaction. The 4,000 square feet made available by moving the lockers will be converted to provide an additional seven classrooms.

The architect is Macrae-Gibson Architects PC (New York City).

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