Schoolhouse Rocks: Bronx’s Haven Academy Charter School Rehab Seeking LEED Platinum

Right now, Haven Academy is housed in PS 73, but in 2010, the school will move to a rehabbed warehouse at 170 Brown Place in Mott Haven that will pursue either LEED Gold or Platinum certification. Even by the recent standards of the South Bronx’s turbo-charged rejuvenation, this was pretty quick.

The South Bronx is in the midst of a recent green hot streak which… well, you can find all the windy “In the South Bronx of America” history lesson stuff in this earlier gbNYC post about Melrose Commons’ LEED for Neighborhood certification. But at the risk of repeating ourselves, it’s pretty extraordinary to see the green efforts taking root in the South Bronx, given the neighborhood’s status as a post-apocalyptic no-fly zone just a few decades ago. Mott Haven was one South Bronx neighborhood that was among the worst in the South Bronx when the South Bronx was at its worst, but it, too, has come up in the world. In September of 2009, the Haven Academy Charter School opened in Mott Haven to general acclaim. Right now, Haven Academy is housed in PS 73, but in 2010, the school will move to a rehabbed warehouse at 170 Brown Place in Mott Haven that will pursue either LEED Gold or Platinum certification. Even by the recent standards of the South Bronx’s turbo-charged rejuvenation, this was pretty quick.

Built over a 100 years ago, the rehabbed building will be LEED-certified Gold or Platinum when it is completed,” Patrick Rocchio writes in the Bronx Times. “It nearly doubles the size of the building, by constructing around the sides on what had been vacant space, to about 55,000 square-feet. It will house the school and all of New York Foundling’s children’s welfare services for the borough.” Eventually, 350 kids will go attend Haven Academy. Besides the fact that it seems kind of jerky to put the gleaming new charter school up right across the street from dingy old PS 73 — it just seems like a nasty New Yorker cartoon, somehow — it’s hard to argue with a new LEED-caliber building in a neighborhood that, the last time I was there, was home to a lot of boarded-up buildings and the nastiest and most broken-down subway station I’ve ever seen. Actual details on the building’s green features are pretty hard to come by at the moment — that Bronx Times article also has a ton of typos, which is kind of a bummer — but we’ll of course keep our eyes out on that front.

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