Our Transformative Building Project
Following 2 ½ years of construction, Dalton’s new facilities opened September 2019. This was an exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine our entire school for the 21st century. And this investment offered an unprecedented opportunity to connect Parkhurst’s pedagogical foundation to the physical space facilitating project-based, experiential learning. From top to bottom, this project ensures that we can serve each student in inspiring, new ways.
We added a 12,200 square foot, two-story rooftop expansion to our existing 12-story 89th Street building. Designed by Architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), our new facility includes a dedicated STEAM facility and open space for collaborative, interdisciplinary meetings and community events. The expansion gives us the flexibility to build on the success of our programs in the STEM fields, robotics, and transdisciplinary work.
Recently named the Ellen C. Stein Center for Collaborative Study, our thoughtful, forward-looking design encourages interaction and chance encounters between students, faculty, and disciplines. The open communicating staircases, informal nooks, and pockets of seating allow for moments of spontaneous, serendipitous conversation, while movable classroom walls encourage collaboration, creativity, and exploration.
This flexible place of new learning enables methods of teaching not yet envisioned and fosters new connections between faculty and students. Potential curricular innovations are boundless with the addition of a robotics field, prototyping space, an engineering lab, computer science & digital media rooms,a machine room, a nutritional science kitchen, a stunning greenhouse skylight, and glass-enclosed art studios adjacent to a dance studio – which doubles as a black-box theater. Ample space is also available for art exhibits and science competitions.
With an eye toward advancing Dalton’s mission – the master plan re-organized the building into three simple programmatic groups:
- Interdisciplinary Hub - On top, the STEAM center, a vibrant hub provides a central place for science, engineering, and art and promotes interdisciplinary dialogue, dynamic exchange of ideas, and meaningful collaboration.
- Academic Core - The middle, or academic core, is the hive of instructional spaces for both middle and high school students.
- Student Resources - The base of the building encourages community building with student resources such as the newly relocated, rejuvenated library, the lobby, the cafeteria, theater, and music.
Dalton Founder Helen Parkhurst called on Dalton to be progressive and adaptive, and Dalton has always innovated to serve our students in imaginative new ways. This evolution will ensure that Dalton lives up to its mission and lives out its values. It places equal emphasis on all disciplines – arts, sciences, humanities and is mindful of our historical emphasis on music, dance, theater, and visual arts.
By balancing holistic design and functional needs – along with a firm commitment to educational innovation – we celebrate Dalton’s legacy and proudly go forth into the future.