Organization Name: Settlement Housing Fund / Dattner Architects and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects, LLP
Project Title: New Settlement Community Campus
Project Location: Jerome Avenue, Mt. Eden, Bronx
New Settlement Community Campus was developed with the NYC School Construction Authority in order to bring high performing schools to the Southwest Bronx, and to accommodate New Settlement Apartment’s growing programming. New Settlement Apartments, over 1,000 units of housing owned and operated by Settlement Housing Fund, is two blocks away from the Campus, and the need for additional community services was very much the priority of New Settlement tenants and residents in the neighborhood. NSA was using all of its space for extensive community programs including after-school activities, a forum for parents working toward education reforms, and an award-winning college access center. Of primary importance to residents was having a swimming pool, since there was not a pool nearby (for recreational or schools’ use). The South Bronx lags behind the rest of the City in graduation rates, and improving educational options in the neighborhood was a top priority of residents.
Opened in 2012, the New Settlement Community Campus is a 172,000 sq. ft. building containing 2 new public schools and a Community Center with an indoor pool and green roof terrace. It was built in partnership with the NYC School Construction Authority, and SHF developed the $15 million Community Center portion using a combination of New Markets Tax Credits with public and private funds. The Campus consists of the schools (pre-K –12th grade and special education classrooms for students with Autism); an amphitheater and outdoor play spaces; a library/media center, auditorium, competition-size gym; a health clinic run by Montefiore’s Children’s Hospital; and the latest technology throughout. Attached to the schools and used by their students, other area schools, and the public is the Center’s 75 ft. five-lane swimming pool, dance studio, cooking classroom, green roof learning terrace, and multipurpose classrooms, offering swimming, dance, yoga, cooking/nutrition classes, and much more.
New Settlement Community Center is starting its 4th year of serving the community and has 7,500 members. The project revitalized a blighted block along Jerome Avenue and brought beautiful architecture to the neighborhood. Each year membership increases by 25%. It is typical for a family to enroll children in multiple classes. We watch members lose weight, gain confidence and have a sense of pride at being part of the Center. This past summer the Center served over 800 campers per week and an additional 600 community members in group swim classes. The Alvin Ailey dance program served 170 children from 4 - 12 year olds in ballet and Hip Hop. The Center works collaboratively with the 3 public schools housed in the Campus. Each school has participated in Alvin Ailey Residencies. Most of the classes from the on-site school, and many from across the District participate in year-long swim classes run by our aquatics staff. The schools are top academic performers in the District.
Settlement Housing Fund works to build strong neighborhoods throughout New York City with a concentration of housing in the Southwest Bronx, the Lower East Side and in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Over the decades, SHF has worked alongside its affiliates and partners in these neighborhoods to rebuild, revitalize and infuse them with great housing and the social capital, programs and essential amenities that make these communities thrive. We have created programs for formerly homeless parents and children, young adults, and families that provide access to education, health and wellness programs, job training and employment. We help lower income residents build skills to live independently and connect them with opportunities for affordable housing in our own buildings and those of for-profit developers. Since 1969, SHF has developed 57 projects with more than 8,700 apartments, including limited equity cooperatives for tenants in place and two-family houses that were sold to public housing residents. SHF currently owns and maintains 29 buildings with 1,676 apartments throughout the city, and broke ground this summer on its 18th affordable housing development in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx.