Zeta Jerome will house a 19,000 SF charter school catering to 300 students between pre-K through first grade. The Jerome Avenue location is one of two properties which will provide an innovative whole-child learning experience for families in the Bronx. Students in second through eighth grade will be housed in a second facility located nearby on Macombs Road. The two locations, both designed by GF55 Architects, provide a complete academic environment for Zeta Charter Bronx Mount Eden school.
The program for Zeta Charter at Jerome includes 12 classrooms, a science room, a music/art/innovation lab, small group rooms, meeting rooms, a 3,000 SF multi-purpose cafeteria-gymnatorium, teachers’ workroom, administrative offices, and 3,700 SF of exterior playground and amphitheater.
The charter school at Jerome is located within a mixed-use, multi-residential building. The ground and cellar floors of the new structure had to be retrofitted to properly accommodate the charter school. The design of the building and the complex programs it provides echo the city around it. The building façade is composed of stucco, brick, glass, and metal panels arranged asymmetrically along the length of the building. The asymmetry is a nod to the movement of the nearby elevated number 4 NYC subway train as it rushes past the building. The vibrant palette of materials allows the building to compete in the visually and acoustically bustling neighborhood. Triple pane windows reduce the noise students would hear from the lively city and sound of the subway trains.
The project was deemed “Essential Construction” during Covid. A tremendous amount of safety restrictions had to be managed to oversee health concerns for all workers. Covid era supply chain disruptions were the norm. A truly heroic effort was required for the school to open on schedule.