Since its founding in 1965, The Gateway School has been a pioneer in education for students with learning disabilities. Our new school, located on the top two floors of a converted parking garage on Manhattan's Upper West Side, is an innovative and forward-thinking learning green architecture environment designed by Andrew Bartle Architects specifically for the needs of Gateway's unique staff and students.
Plenty of sunlight, friendly colors and stimulating spaces make for a welcoming school that sparks the imagination and nurtures young minds. A variety of learning environments - from classrooms with adjacent breakout rooms or movable dividing walls to hallway alcoves and seating areas - provide multiple possibilities for learning in different sized groups. A grand, skylit stair connects the two floors, unifying the school while also serving as an impromptu classroom and stage. At the foot of the stair is the main gathering space and pedagogical heart of the program - Grandstand - which can be joined with the adjacent lounge space for school assemblies and performances.
In addition to its one-of-a-kind pedagogy and learning environment, Gateway became the first "LEED Silver" school in Manhattan, meeting high standards for "green" building design and demonstrating our commitment to the environment, both inside the school and out. The "green" design strategies are sometimes hard to see because they are a seamless part of the building. For example, the school has a radiant floor throughout, which circulates heated water through tubes in the floor for a more even, efficient and comfortable heating system. The lights are on a daylight dimming system that adjusts according to the natural sunlight coming through the windows. And there is sure to be a lot of sunlight - seventy-seven percent of the school is daylit, which brings substantial energy savings as well as improves occupant health and happiness. Most rooms also have occupancy sensors so that lights automatically shut off when the room is empty. Plumbing fixtures conserve water and appliances conserve electricity. The flooring and cabinet veneers are bamboo because bamboo is quickly replenished and will regrow in only six years. Many of the building components are made of recycled materials such as steel, drywall, wood and carpet. In addition, the materials used are free of chemicals and pollutants. In addition to being environmentally beneficial, our sustainable design features are also valuable teaching tools. Gateway's new facility is a springboard for our students: a healthier school for a healthier planet.