Frequently Asked Questions
During St. Luke's expansion, it is our goal to communicate openly with you as we receive information about timing of construction and expansion of our program. We recognize that these issues are important to your families, and we will share information on this page as frequently and as quickly as possible.
We thank you for partnering with us during this "Build" phase of our expansion.
We completed significant preparation work during the summer of 2015. The foundations for the six columns that will support the addition have been dug and grouted. This was a massive undertaking requiring placing two drills in the basement and digging 92 feet until we hit bedrock. Many walls were torn down to make room for the equipment and the foundation work.
A lot of infrastructure work has been completed that is not immediately visible. We have created the base shaft for the elevator that will be installed next summer. Vents and beams have been relocated in the library, kitchen, and dining room. Electrical systems have been upgraded.
Initial light well work has been completed until after school concludes. At that time, the windows will be installed into the two basement classrooms.
Window wells will have white tiles on the outside of the wall to reflect more light into the classrooms for the current Grade 6 and 7 rooms. This construction will be started in mid-February and will be completed this summer. We are looking at ways to personalize the wells to give our current students a sense of ownership and excitement about the project.
We are excited that we will be able to install air conditioning in our current gym over spring break, which will benefit all of the children currently enrolled in the school.
Scaffolding has been erected across the St. Luke's grounds. The construction crew will enter the project through stairs erected on Greenwich Street, and they will have no access to the school. Our current playground will not be impacted by the scaffolding.
Classroom configuration for the 2016-2017 school year is as follows:
- Grade 4 classrooms will be in either the existing Grade 4 classroom or the current art room which will be renovated over the summer.
- Grade 5 will move to the basement classroom with window wells where Grade 7 held homeroom this year.
- Grade 6 will remain in the basement classroom with window wells where the grade moved this year.
- Grade 7 will move to the current Grade 5 room on the second floor.
- Art will move to the Lower Annex below the foreign language classroom.
Unless listed above, all other classrooms will remain in the same location.
Not only does this provide a safe structure, but it also means that construction will be contained, and the day-to-day impact on children and learning will be minimal.
Andrew Bartle of ABA Studio
Chris Norfleet of Séamus Henchy and Associates, Inc.
Archstone Builders LLC
We have spoken directly to the Upper School students during a Convocation assembly, using many of the same slides we have showed the parents to explain the construction project. The Lower School students will learn about it in their classrooms.
This spring, our faculty will explore ways to incorporate aspects of the construction into their lessons to take advantage of having an active construction project on site.
We will communicate with the parents regarding construction details through email every other week and through our website. We will communicate directly with parents, not through the students.
St. Luke's School continues to raise the funds necessary for this expansion project. Please check out Building Our Future for more information, or contact Jocelyn Bowman, Director of Capital Giving and Communications, at email@example.com.
In addition, St. Luke's has entered into a $12 million loan to finance the construction. The total cost of the project to be delivered in September 2017 is $24,000,000.
By Grade 4, students have transitioned from learning skills to applying skills, so they do not need as much direct instruction. This model will allow us to group across sections and provide both support and enrichment to all students so we can focus on mastery or extension as needed. The use of three teachers across two classrooms also introduces the concept of shared teachers, which is the model in Grade 5, and departmentalization, which begins in Grade 6. For these reasons, in Grade 4 we intentionally transition from a model with a lead teacher and an associate early in his or her career to three experienced lead teachers across the grade level.
Will the Upper School follow the same pattern as the Lower School in terms of class schedules, student-teacher ratio, and number of teachers per grade?
Ultimately, the program will contain both grade-level and class-specific productions depending on the age of the child, the nature of the material, and the needs of the curriculum.
Ultimately, our current gym will be converted to an auditorium able to seat our parent body and accommodate audiences for our productions.
We have rights to ground-level play space as part of our lease. The Church of St. Luke in the Fields has the right to build a community center on the stretch of playground along Hudson Street, roughly where the play structure is currently located. Once the church builds their community space in several years, we will use both the ground-level playground, most likely for the younger children, and a rooftop playground, most likely for our older children.
How will the PE program change in the long term due to additional classes and an increased nuimber of students?
St. Luke's has hired a third physical education lead teacher who will start in the fall of 2016. Generally, though, the structure of PE will remain the same with each grade having classes from 3-4 times a week depending on what is developmentally appropriate. The larger gym is being designed to accommodate classes of 36 so PE will be taught one grade-level at a time.
The development of the dance program and the creation of a dance studio in the Archive building has allowed us to offer a strong physical education program and has opened up our current gym for more classes during construction.
Are we still going to use the Archive building for the PE dance program after the construction is complete?
The current uses of the gym will remain: physical education during the day, intermural sports and practice before and after school, and rentals at night.
This will not be impacted by construction or renovation. We do not anticipate closing the current gym until the new, expanded gym is completed and accessible.
Will the school expand use of indoor and outdoor offsite resources such as Pier 40 to accommodate the growth in the Upper School?
A parent-led committee will be evaluating our lunch options to determine whether we move to another lunch provider. This discussion is driven by whether or not we remain a voluntary lunch program, as caterers require a minimum number of meals in order to participate. We will have discussions early next year about whether to move toward a compulsory lunch program or not and then look for providers based on that decision. The earliest there would be a major change in food service provider would be September 2017.
What progress has the church's developer made, and how has the developer planned to accommodate noise, dirt, etc. during their construction?
The church's developer, Toll Brothers, has made significant progress on the residential building next to our gym and art room. The construction causing the most noise is behind us. Once the exterior walls of the apartment building have been erected, there will be little impact on the school. The wall of the school, the air space between the buildings, and the walls of the new building will buffer sound and noise from future construction.