PS 279 School Construction Authority Morris Heights Bronx This was the first new school prototype built by the School Construction Authority in the mid-1980s. Over several decades, the school had experienced repeated water infiltration. This was partly due to The Bronx's hilly topography and partly due to defects in original construction. The most pressing concern was to eliminate water coming into the principal's office located directly below the playground courtyard. With two stories below ground, faulty waterproofing, and a high water table, the cellar's walls were regularly flooded. We specified a grout injection system to make these walls watertight and replaced the between-slab membrane and perimeter flashings below the playground. All of the buildings’ bulkheads and stair towers as well as the gymnasium roof required reroofing with metal copings added, and guardrails to satisfy new code requirements.
This was one of six schools assigned to our firm under a 5-year term contract with the School Construction Authority. Our office completed all phases of design and construction-related services on these projects; the budgets for each school ranged from $1.2 to $6.2 million dollars for construction costs. Our responsibilities began with detailed surveys and scope reports to establish the budget and scope of each project. We then took each project through to construction documents, bidding, construction administration and close-out. Our exterior envelope work addressed brick and stone masonry repointing and replacement, parapet and bulkhead rebuilding, and roofing replacement. We also renewed outdoor sports and play areas.
Interior renovation work included general redesign/reconfiguration of interior spaces as well as structural repairs, plaster/paint refinishing of walls, upgrading restrooms to ADA compliance, creating early childhood restrooms, replacing auditorium ceiling and lighting, rebuilding a stage, retrofitting of existing systems, piping and drainage replacement, and grout injection waterproofing to eliminate flooding.