In an effort to address the homeless crisis plaguing NYC, students and city officials recently designed a shelter to go at the home of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center.
On June 9, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) announced that the joint DDC/SCA ACE Mentor Team 8’s proposal for a homeless shelter in Hunts Point has placed third in a national design and construction competition. There are 25 high school students from 16 public schools throughout the city on this year’s DDC/SCA ACE Mentor Team 8.
The proposal, titled “Case Verde,” would build an ecologically friendly men’s homeless shelter with training and educational programs and employment readiness initiatives for up to 135 residents who would be eligible to stay at the facility for six to eight months.
“We are extremely proud of DDC/SCA ACE Team 8 and the national recognition they’ve received for their work in this prestigious design competition,” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “Students interested in STEAM career fields are encouraged to participate in a team in their area to learn lessons about the built environment, foster connections and receive mentorship that’ll last for years to come.”
The shelter would feature spaces for security, resident intake/processing, counseling units, staff offices, recreational activities, a kitchen, a dining hall, multipurpose community room, residential pods, green market, training center, parking lot and loading dock. Additionally, the transformed site would meet the requirements for LEED Gold certification and would be the first LEED certified homeless shelter in the city.
The students estimated the cost of repurposing the 144,000-square-foot area would be $102 million, with anticipated funding from the city and private investments. In comparison to the city industry average of $800 to $1,200 per square foot, the shelter would cost approximately $700 per square foot. It would take approximately 18 months to transform the former center into “Casa Verde.”
“Thank you for the endless support that you have not only given me but all of my fellow teammates! I cannot express how much I will miss coming back to participate in ACE Mentor Team 8,” said DDC/SCA ACE Mentor Team 8 Participant Pamela Bernal. “I’m excited to attend City College in the fall! I hope to see all of you again.”