Poly Prep Lower School

education & preservation & sustainability

Poly Prep Lower School

"The completed building has strengthened our school community (and) improved the educational and human experience... It is a happy building."
- Launa Schweitzer, Lower School Head

Poly Prep is a LEED Silver building and the very first School in NYC to be granted a LEED certification. It was also the first K-12 School in New York State to achieve this distinction.

This 20,000 sf addition to the school’s historic Hulbert Mansion was completed on a fast-track basis, spanning just 23 months from programming to occupancy. It received unanimous approval from the New York City Landmarks Commission and was supported by the community.

PBDW’s addition serves as a transition between the repetitive rhythm of row houses lining the street and the articulated castle-like Hulbert Mansion which sits prominently at the corner of a quiet residential street in Brooklyn’s Park Slope Historic District. In order that the new building neither obscure the mansion nor overshadow the row-houses, its apparent height was limited and its connection to the mansion recessed. Inside, the buildings are seamlessly connected on every floor by a continuous hallway, designed to create an identifiable and enjoyable transition between old and new.

The school includes homerooms for nursery through grade four, a multi-purpose room, dining and music rooms, dance and art studios, administrative offices, and a new ADA-compliant entrance to the school. The classrooms were designed in an asymmetrical L-shaped configuration to replicate the coziness of the mansion’s beloved nooks and bays and to add flexibility to the layout. They are inviting, daylight-filled spaces with street views and composite bamboo floors and millwork. A new high performance glass clad stair tower overlooks the landscaped playground which doubles as an area for parents to mingle with the school community at drop off and dismissal, and accommodates bike and trike storage.

The building was designed with sustainability in mind. All materials used were low-VOC for improved indoor air quality, 41% were locally manufactured and 22% are recycled products. Occupancy sensors, demand control ventilation, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets were installed throughout. The students are very proud of their environmentally responsible new building.


Poly Prep Country Day School


Brooklyn, NY

Date Completed



Lucy G. Moses Award
New York Landmarks Conservancy, 2009

Building Brooklyn Award
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, 2008

Sustainable Design

LEED Silver

First K-12 school in the state of New York to earn LEED certification.

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