Stieglitz Snyder Architecture was engaged to program and plan a new home for district wide administration for the Utica City School District. Over 60 administrators and support staff comprised 10 departments that work together to oversee the 13 school district. The new building is a transition from an existing 30,000 square foot facility spread over multiple levels to the new facility which is 20,000 square on a single floor.
Thoughtful analysis of individual department functions and interaction with other departments allowed for a plan that provided not only efficient work spaces, but adjacencies that benefit department collaboration on a daily basis. The new pragmatic layout also allows for sharing of communal resources including reception, conference rooms and copy support areas. Placement of general offices at the center of the floor plate allow for open office around the perimeter to maximize sunlight to staff spaces and offices.
The new building serves multiple public and district wide staff functions as well. Building visitors come to the building for a variety of functions including registration of new students, job candidate applications and interviews, student testing and evaluation meetings while also serving as a hub for district conferences. Our team carefully planned circulation and public spaces to facilitate anticipated public interactions.
The final design was part of a 60,000 square foot addition that includes two stories of new academic space for the adjacent school building. The new administration home is on the third level and has dedicated entrances from ground level that do not interfere with school functions. Site conceptual planning had to take into account many factors including staff / visitor parking, bus circulation and student / parent pedestrian traffic from the adjacent neighborhood.