By Jessica Lewis
This summer, five Rochester City Schools re-opened with brand new modernized spaces. Students from James Monroe High School, John Walton Spencer School No. 16, The Children’s School of Rochester No. 15, Virgil I. Grissom School No. 7 and School Without Walls started the school year in newly renovated schools as part of the initial openings in Phase 2 of the Rochester Schools Modernization Program’s (RSMP) $1.4 billion dollar multi-phase program; the largest public capital works project in the history of Rochester.
As part of the $435 million second phase of the Program, all five schools had ribbon cutting ceremonies in September with faculty, students,
administrators and dignitaries present.
Here’s a look at the renovations that were celebrated at the ceremony for each school:
James Monroe High School, Grand re-opening held September 8, 2018: The size and complexity of James Monroe School, originally constructed in 1921, required its renovations to begin as part of Phase 1. In addition to a complete modernization of the original building infrastructure, the highlight of the School’s renovation is the major components within the new 41,000 square foot Athletic Center addition which includes a public event lobby, multi-use two-station gymnasium with
seating for 600, weight/fitness room; boy’s and girl’s locker rooms; team rooms; shower facilities and new athletic department offices.
John Walton Spencer School No. 16, Grand reopening September 10, 2018:
Built in 1910, the John Walton Spencer School No. 16 is a functional facility with much of its original beauty intact and all the features of a new 21st century school.
In the school’s original section, wood cubbies, chalkboards and rails were preserved; while the wood doors, metal ceilings, woodwork,
columns, entrance, bell tower and stained glass windows
were restored. All classrooms were renovated with replacement windows designed to match the originals, and wood grain metal security doors
hung. The original gym was converted into a library, and an addition was built for the new gym with stage and food services, along with two additional classrooms for Pre-K. Outside, additional parking and a curb cut for student buses were added.
The Children’s School of Rochester No. 15, Grand reopening held September 20,2018:The original Martin B. Anderson School No.1 constructed in 1921 in the Cobbs Hill neighborhood has been transformed into a historic timepiece that boasts all the features and amenities of a modern learning facility and has been renamed The Children’s
School of Rochester No. 15 The building received comprehensive
renovations and an addition has been constructed to accommodate a two-strand elementary school for grades Pre-K through 6. The design
plan outlined a complete updating of the building interiors as well as the replacement of the HVAC, plumbing electrical and life safety systems Site improvements include an enlarged bus loop and parking lot, new playground equipment, and a new drop off loop specifically for Pre-k and Kindergarten.In addition, the main public entrance will now offer a dramatic glass-encased view onto the updated gymnatorium. Architectural services were furnished by Moody Nolan, the largest U.S. African American-owned design firm, who designed easily sub-dividable
classrooms that allow students and teachers to circulate freely between the spaces.
Virgil I. Grissom School No. 7 Grand re-opening held September 26, 2018 Originally constructed in 1966, Virgil I. Grissom School No. 7, is a three-story, 68,000 square foot building in the heart of the Maplewood neighborhood. The spherical shaped core building is constructed of masonry and steel and sits on a 2.75 acre site with parking, playgrounds and a play field.The project involved the construction of a two-story addition, new stage, new library, new roof, extensive renovations including windows, HVAC and electrical system upgrades.
School Without Walls Grand Re-opening held September 27, 2018; Located
in the Southeast quadrant of Rochester, School Without Walls is the smallest high school in the District which houses 250 students who were formerly transported to a nearby community center to participate in physical education classes as the building did not house a gymnasium. The project involved the construction of an addition containing a single station
gymnasium, changing rooms, a fitness room and art classrooms.
Renovation areas within the existing building include the main office,
student toilet rooms, staff lounge, and conversion of the art classroom to a science classroom. Infrastructure improvements include paving and sidewalk replacement, roof and window replacement, HVAC, plumbing and
electrical systems upgrades.