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Top Projects Completed 2003-2004

The Glen Oaks Campus

Rank #13
Cost: $203 million

Two much-needed elementary/middle schools and a high school opened in Glen Oaks, Queens, in September.

The Glen Oaks School Campus, carved from a corner of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, was developed on 19.3 acres at 78-70 Grand Central Parkway North.

The three schools, which serve more than 2,500 students, were completed in 23 months under a well-executed design-build plan. About 275 teachers and staff work in the schools.

Construction costs totaled $203 million for the project developed by the New York City School Construction Authority and using the design-build services of Elmont, N.Y.-based Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corp.

The SCA started demolishing empty Creedmoor buildings on the site in 2000 to prepare for the new construction project. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which had owned the land, allowed SCA to begin demolition before it officially owned the site in order to facilitate the construction schedule.

The schools had to be ready for their students for the fall 2003 semester.

Design-build also helped SCA save time and money by having the excavation, concrete work, installation of footings and structural steel start while the renderings were being done. To further facilitate the project deadline, an average of 350-400 workers labored daily on the site and worked overtime and on weekends.

The project encompassed three schools: P.S./I.S. 208, P.S./I.S. 266 and the High School for the Teaching Profession.

Each school was designed to function as a campus. Senior project architect Paul Spears of John Ciardullo Associates of New York, N.Y. said the design gave each building its own personality by ensuring that each relieving angle of the face brick ran continuously around the perimeter edge of each floor slab.

He added that by changing the relieving angle, "we eliminated all of the hangers every 4 ft. on center. Then, to pick up the brick over the windows, we created a bond beam over the windows using a concrete block and we bolted the angle for the widow to the bond beam."

The project was originally designed with the three schools to surround a common area that had an exposed, aboveground electrical service block house. Not finding this to be aesthetically pleasing, the SCA asked the design-builder to incorporate the electrical services within the basement of the high school instead.

The basement was then extended to a 40-ft.-long underground area and was located outside the perimeter of the building below grade. Now, there is no electrical service open to public view.

To meet its strict deadline, the massive project required the coordination of subcontractors, the owner, the developer, the New York City Department of Transportation for interior roadways and traffic infrastructure, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for drainage.

To address the traffic infrastructure challenge, New York-based Sam Schwartz LLC Traffic Engineering created an access plan for the campus that included dedicated on- and off-ramps to Union Turnpike and an internal circulation road serving all three schools. The schools have an airport-like setting where the students are transported in at dropoff points at the end of an access road.

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