One of the most present questions on the minds of BASIS Independent Manhattan parents right now is, "What will our new campus look like?" We are thrilled to be in the thick of the process of upgrading our facility and working toward a completed building that lives up to the standards of BASIS Curriculum Schools in the heart of the Upper West Side.
John Flaherty, BASIS Independent Schools' Director of New School Development, makes it a point to immerse himself in the construction process to ensure that construction and facility upgrades run smoothly for all of our schools. This summer, BASIS Independent Manhattan is his key focus. We took a moment to ask him some questions about the current process.
How is construction progressing and what is the latest status update on some of the most important facility upgrades?
We are officially under way with BASIS Independent Manhattan renovations! While the Mandell School is finishing their move out, we have been busy painting in the evenings and commencing our campus-wide technology upgrade. I’m pleased with progress and expect to see the lower level and about 50% of the first floor fully painted within a few days. We are mobilizing to begin work on the more major interior renovations and the terrace playground upgrades early next week. While we are still early in our tight construction window this summer, we are cautiously optimistic that all scopes will remain on schedule.
What do you think families will be most impressed with when they walk through the doors on the first day?
I think families will be really impressed with the upgrades we have planned. The front lobby and terrace playground are the spaces receiving the most visible attention in terms of upgrades, but the entire school is being renovated and rebranded to BASIS Independent standards. Though not as visible, the significant investment we are making in technology and security upgrades will ensure we have a highly safe, secure and state-of-the-art facility for years to come.
Talk a little bit about some of the biggest challenges you are facing and also what you have found to be the most exciting part of the construction process.
New York City is an extremely difficult place in which to build. High-rise multi-tenant buildings present unique challenges, and the review and approvals process with the NYC Department of Buildings is complex and requires a team of experts to navigate. However, I am happy to report that our early efforts and planning paid off as we have recently been issued a building permit. For me, the most rewarding part of the construction process is the breadth and diversity of professionals with whom I get to interact every day to bring this project to fruition. I go from one meeting to the next with school managers, architects, engineers, permit expeditors, construction managers, subcontractors, etc. Working with a talented team of professionals to overcome challenges of the design and construction process, especially those unique to this project, is extremely rewarding. However, the most exciting and rewarding moment of all is always the day that students first enter a new campus!