Hungerford School moving to state-of-the-art, 300-seat building on Petrides Campus in 2021
New building will be fully-accessible to meet the needs of D75 Students; including elevators, wheelchair ramps and braille signage
NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today joined community members and officials to unveil the site for the new Richard H. Hungerford building on Staten Island. The new state-of-the-art building will be fully-accessible to serve the specialized needs of all students, and will include several amenities to better accommodate students with disabilities, including braille signage in every room, elevators on all floors and wheelchair ramps. The new building will also include hearing loops – a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system, which hearing-impaired students can connect to via their hearing aids or cochlear implants. The design phase for the facility will begin this fall, and construction is expected to be completed for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Located on the Michael J. Petrides Campus, the new building will also allow for several inclusion opportunities across the campus.
“This new building is a part of our work to ensure equity and excellence for all students,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’re committed to providing every student with a school where they have the resources and support they need to succeed, and the new state-of-the-art Hungerford School will be a remarkable asset to District 75 students, families and teachers. This project was a result of incredible collaboration across local, City and State leaders. I am especially grateful to Kevin Moran, the Executive Director of our Staten Island Field Support Center, who showed true leadership throughout this process.”
“I am thankful to Chancellor Fariña for supporting the Staten Island Field Support Center as we worked with several City and State agencies and local elected officials to secure the Petrides Campus and make this project a reality for our District 75 community,” said Kevin Moran, Executive Director of the Staten Island Field Support Center. “The new Hungerford building reinforces the Department of Education's commitment to equity and excellence for all, and will provide its students with a supportive, high-quality learning environment.”
The 43-acre Petrides Campus currently houses the Pre-K-12 Michael J. Petrides School, as well as DOE administrative offices. The space previously served as a campus for the College of Staten Island (CSI) and was owned and operated by the State of New York. This summer, the deed to the property was officially transferred over to the DOE, allowing the School Construction Authority to begin design and construction on the new building.
The Hungerford School is one of Staten Island’s largest District 75 schools and currently serves more than 400 students with disabilities in grades 6-12 across the borough, with approximately 230 students located at its main site. The school was founded 50 years ago to support special needs students on Staten Island, and has since grown over to include several annexes and inclusion opportunities, as well as a work-study program for students ages 17-21.
The new Hungerford building will accommodate approximately 300 students, and will be built at the Petrides campus to ensure that students in the Hungerford School have easy access to a variety of campus facilities, including the gymnasium, athletic fields, and opportunities for inclusion. The Hungerford School will also maintain its inclusion sites and annexes across Staten Island.
“This is wonderful news, and I am grateful for all those in DOE and SCA for making this a reality,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “I especially want to recognize and thank Kevin Moran for all his work wading through the ownership issues that allowed the transfer of the property to the City. Frankly, Kevin’s picture should be in every dictionary next to the word ‘persistence.’ There is nothing more exciting than seeing the look on students’ faces when they first enter their brand new, modern school.”
“Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have managed to cut through the bureaucratic red tape to help create a new site for the Richard H. Hungerford School,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. “Today is a great day for students and the District 75 school community as a whole.”
“It is exciting and comforting that the Hungerford School students will have the opportunity to learn and grow in a state of the art school facility that is thoughtfully designed,” said Council of School Supervisors and Administrators Executive Vice President Mark Cannizzaro. “This dream is now a reality due to the vision and staunch advocacy of Principal Mary McInerny, the support of our Chancellor and local elected officials, and the perseverance of Kevin Moran. I thank them and look forward to the ribbon cutting.”
“When The Hungerford School first opened its doors, it led the way in addressing the education needs of some of our most severely disabled students,” said State Senator Andrew Lanza. “50 years later, the time has come to write the school's next chapter. We must ensure that today's students have access to a modern classroom environment where they can learn, grow and maneuver without the limitations of the aging building currently housing the school. Today's groundbreaking is a testament to the parents and students, who articulately highlighted the need for a new home for The Hungerford School. I am proud to recognize their dedication with today's announcement at the Petrides Campus.”
“After recently celebrating its 50th year of service to the Staten Island community, it’s encouraging to know the Hungerford School teachers and staff will be relocating to a state-of-the-art building where they will be able to continue to provide support for students with developmental disabilities,” said Assembly Member Michael Cusick. “I am proud to have worked with Governor Cuomo and Senator Lanza to make this land that was previously owned by the State of New York, usable for the DOE to help make this transition possible.”
“The visionary creators of the Hungerford School started this institution 50 years ago with what was then a revolutionary concept: All children, regardless of academic ability or need, not only have the right to an education, but to a building and faculty that are equipped to provide that education to them. The new facility to be built on the site of the Michael J. Petrides complex will continue that legacy and expand upon it, with a state-of-the-art design and technology that will provide the tools for every student to succeed,” said City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo.
“For a half century, the Hungerford School has been providing a quality education for students with developmental disabilities in facilities that have not always fully met the student's needs. Today we take an important step toward ensuring a better educational experience, with state-of-the-art facilities and access to all the additional amenities that the Petrides School offers. I thank Chancellor Fariña and all the stakeholders who have worked to make this a reality, and I know we all look forward to a ribbon cutting that will open new doors for hundreds of students,” said Council Member Debi Rose.
“New school buildings are one of the best investments we can make in our City’s future, and this building will provide District 75 students on Staten Island with the new resources and amenities they need to thrive,” said Lorraine Grillo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City School Construction Authority. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from elected officials and local stakeholders in District 31 and look forward to working with our partners in this community throughout the remainder of the project.”
“The Staten Island community was an instrumental partner in helping this project become a reality,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “Families, teachers and local stakeholders made their voices heard on the need for a new and enhanced District 75 building and we’re thrilled that this project is finally coming to fruition.”
“This building will be an important addition to the District 75 community on Staten Island,” said Deputy Chancellor Corinne Rello-Anselmi. “Providing students with special needs with a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment is at the heart of our work, and at the Petrides campus, students will not just have a new state-of-the-art building, but they will also have access to the vast array of resources available on this campus, ensuring that students have a strong, well-rounded educational experience.”
“Every student is entitled to be in a learning environment that will nurture them and help them reach their full potential,” said Ketler Louissaint, District 75 Superintendent. “I am thrilled and deeply grateful that the Hungerford School will soon have a new building to call home, where students will continue to have the resources and services they need to be successful. This is a wonderful school community with incredibly dedicated families and staff. I have no doubt that they will make the most of this opportunity so that all students can thrive and excel.”