Brooklyn, NY - Poly Prep Day School opens for the new school year with new building.

The Poly Prep Country Day School, located on Prospect Park West, is housed in the Hulbert Mansion. Recently renamed, Poly Prep Lower School, it provides an intimate, nurturing, and academically stimulating early childhood experience for Nursery through Grade 4 students. This "Green" project is a renovation and expansion of the existing 21,800 square foot 1895 Romanesque Style Mansion with an 18,400 square addition.

A complicated design plan called for the new addition to be connected into the existing mansion structure while preserving 3 of the 4 landmarked facades.

Intricate shoring systems were required to maintain stability while the entire interior structure and load bearing walls of the South Wing of the Mansion were removed to tie the new building addition into the existing wood structural systems. This "link area" serves as the main corridor for both the old and new buildings with a central Grand Stair, elevator, and Main Entrance - a three story atrium that ties the old and the new with stone flooring, bamboo panels, and hints of the Mansion's masonry facade.

A skylight located above the third floor dance studio traverses down the corner of the building and allows plenty of daylight into the classrooms on the 2nd and 1st floors of the addition.

The update of the mansion includes modernized mechanical and electrical systems, revised classroom and office layouts and finishes. Finishes, construction methods, and mechanical, and structural elements for this project have been specified to meet current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. The Poly Prep Lower School is competing to be the first LEED certified school project in New York City.

The construction challenge was to build this design, linking the old building with the new, and to do so with minimal interruption to school activities. RCDolner LLC erected the addition and restored the mansion in 9 months, a endeavor that would normally have taken a year or more to accomplish.