Forwarding: The Trust for Governors Island & the School Construction Authority Announce Expansion of Urban Assembly NY Harbor School


The Trust for Governors Island and the School Construction Authority Announce Expansion of  Urban Assembly New York Harbor School 
New facility to support an additional 18 classrooms, pool and gymnasium  
Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer provide capital funding  to support pool 

NEW YORK (April 5, 2021)— Trust for Governors Island President & CEO Clare Newman and Nina  Kubota, President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority, announced plans to  expand the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island into Building 515, located  adjacent to the school’s existing facility within the Governors Island Historic District.  

Located on Governors Island since 2010, the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School offers a unique  career technical education curriculum built upon New York City’s maritime experience, environmental  stewardship, and careers on the water for over 500 high school students. The 60,000-square foot  expansion into Building 515 will add 18 classrooms in addition to the existing school building, adding  approximately 400 seats to the Harbor School. The planned expansion will also include a pool and a  gymnasium, supporting the school’s water-dependent maritime programs. Council Member Chin and  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, long-time advocates of the school and its unique curriculum, have committed capital funding to support the expansion and the construction of a new pool.  

The expansion comes at a transformational moment as the Trust moves forward with plans to attract a  leading center for climate solutions, which will expand partnership, learning and training opportunities for students on Governors Island. 

"The Harbor School has been a key partner of Governors Island for over a decade, and I'm thrilled that it  will be able to nearly double in size to support their innovative curriculum focused on marine and  environmental work," said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. "This expansion dovetails perfectly with the  City's ongoing work towards creating a climate hub on Governors Island -- we look forward to Harbor  School students' involvement in this critical field for years to come!"  

“The Harbor School holds a special place in our school system, giving students unparalleled exposure to  our local bodies of water and hands-on experience with environmental stewardship. With this expansion, 

even more New York City children will have the opportunity to experience on-water educational  programming and access state-of-the-art facilities for generations to come,” said Schools Chancellor  Meisha Porter. 

“The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School exemplifies the unique promise of Governors Island – a  place of historic significance at the center of New York Harbor, with unprecedented opportunity for  learning and engagement with our waterfront,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust  for Governors Island. “This new facility will expand access to this unique curriculum to even more New  York City high schoolers, and we thank Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Margaret Chin, Manhattan  Borough President Gale Brewer and our elected officials for their ongoing support of the school’s  community. We look forward to expanding partnerships and educational pipelines with the Harbor School  as Governors Island continues to grow as a hub for learning, research and public engagement in response  to the climate crisis.” 

"This expansion is exciting news for future of the Harbor School," said Manhattan Borough president  Gale A. Brewer. "I'm pleased to support The Harbor School and to help provide more opportunities to  students with the addition of 18 classrooms and 400 seats, as well as the construction of a new pool,  which will be appropriate for certification for marine diving and lifeguard training." 

"When I first visited the Harbor School for its groundbreaking in 2012, I could see that this educational  institution is truly special. I am so happy to see the long-awaited expansion realized after so many years  of hard work and collaboration with the Trust for Governors Island and the School Construction  Authority,” said City Council Member Margaret Chin. “The school's development includes a  gymnasium and inground pool, and will allow the Harbor School to welcome hundreds of new students  who are currently on a wait-list. Two years ago I committed $1.2 million of my own capital funding for  this project and I cannot wait to see its construction completed. Maritime students will now be able to  scubadive in their own facilities; this place is truly the only school of its kind in New York City. I am so  proud to have secured this next chapter in the Harbor School's environmental stewardship of Governors  Island." 

“At the SCA, we are thrilled at the opportunity to add more seats to the Harbor School and expand access  to this wonderfully unique maritime learning institution to more New York City students,” Nina Kubota,  SCA President and CEO, said. “This project embodies our core mission at the SCA to design and  construct safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for children throughout the many  communities of New York City.”  

“I am pleased that the Harbor School will finally get their long-awaited pool and gymnasium,” said  Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents Senate District 26, which includes Governors Island,  Lower Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn. “For nearly 20 years the Harbor School has offered unique  educational opportunities to a diverse student body. Learning marine biology, sailing and other watercraft  skills, and participating in the Billion Oyster Project all prepare students for careers engaging with and  being good stewards of our natural environment. The aquatic center will allow students to take full  advantage of the school’s maritime-themed academics. I am glad that the school will be expanding,  giving more students the chance to experience this exceptional education on Governors Island. Thank you  to the Trust, the School Construction Authority, Principal Jeff Chetirko, the Harbor School PTA, and the  other dedicated advocates who helped make this possible.”

“The PTA is thrilled and grateful that after parent advocacy for a decade, and help from many well wishers, especially Margaret Chin and her chief of staff Gigi Li, the Trust for Governors Island President  Clare Newman and VP Sarah Krautheim, the School Construction Authority and Lorraine Grillo, the  Department of Education, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Brian Kavanagh,  Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, Speaker Corey Johnson, CB1, especially Tricia Joyce, and all of our  other elected officials,” said Nan Richardson, President of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor  School PTA. “The Harbor School will finally get the space and facilities needed to fulfill this unique  school's mission. As our city faces many challenges with climate change, our students trained in  marine and maritime science hope to help meet that future with imagination and now will have the skills  and tools to do so. We look forward to the realization of this dream.” 

“Urban Assembly New York Harbor School is grateful to the Governors Island Trust, Councilmember Chin, Manhattan BP Brewer and the School Construction Authority for their support of  the school's unique career and technical education programs in marine science and technology,” said  Jeffrey Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School. “By providing  equitable space and resources to our New York City public school, it will enable high school students  from all five boroughs to acquire the skills and experience to successfully navigate through post secondary opportunities and swim to the top of the maritime industry candidate pool after graduation.” 

"The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School integrates academics and career readiness in a way that  exemplifies the kind of innovation in public education that the Urban Assembly has built its reputation  on," says David Adams, CEO of the Urban Assembly. "We couldn't be more excited about this  expansion. The fact that more students in New York City have the opportunity to learn hands-on about the  City's marine systems and environmental technology at the Harbor School is truly monumental.  Congratulations to Jeff Chetirko and the entire team at Harbor." 

“We were thrilled and deeply grateful to hear that the long-promised pool, including a gym and additional  classrooms, for the Harbor School has at last become a reality at site 515 on Governors Island,” said  Tammy Meltzer, Manhattan CB1 Chairperson and Tricia Joyce, Chair of Manhattan CB1’s Youth and Education Committee. “We understand the challenges sustained in prioritizing this important  infrastructure. We want to thank all of those who made this happen, especially CM Margaret Chin, Gigi  Li, Clare Newman, Sarah Krautheim, Lorraine Grillo and the NYC School Construction Authority, Dept.  of Education, as well as MBP Gale Brewer, Senator Brian Kavanaugh, AM Yuh-Line Niou and all of our  other elected officials and the families from the Harbor School led by Nan Richardson, who wrote, called,  tweeted, and attended all of our CB1 meetings. We look forward not only to opening day, but to all of the  rich opportunities this pool will create for the students of this cherished and unique program at the Harbor  School. The world will be watching.” 

"Brooklyn Community Board 2 is pleased that the Trust is able to extend their support for the good work  of the Harbor School,” said Lenue H. Singletary, III, Brooklyn CB2 Chairperson. “Although the  School is not geographically located within our boundaries, a large percentage of their students live in our  District and benefit from the unique maritime and ecological studies that their curriculum affords.” 

The first year-round tenant on Governors Island since its transfer from federal to local control, the Harbor School’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory education built upon New York City’s maritime  experience with a focus on environmental stewardship. With its partners, including the Billion Oyster  Project, the school develops authentic activities for its students on, around, and related to the water that create a sense of responsibility to New York Harbor and develop a new generation of maritime advocates,  enthusiasts, workers, and decision-makers. The Harbor School currently occupies nearly 80,000 square  feet across two buildings located within the Governors Island Historic District, including Building 550 and the Marine and Science Technology Center (“MAST Center”), which supports the school’s water  dependent activity.  

In Fall, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced plans to expand  Governors Island into a year-round publicly accessible destination, including a proposed center for  climate solutions. The proposed center will expand educational, research and public engagement  opportunities surrounding the climate crisis while expanding the Island’s open space, and complementing  its use as a cultural, educational, and recreational destination, as well as the work of the Harbor School in  educating New York City high schoolers in science, policy and maritime related fields. The Mayor’s  Office and the Trust expect to release a solicitation to attract an academic or non-profit research  institution in 2021, which will expand partnerships with the Harbor School and other educational and  cultural tenants working on climate and environmental issues on the Island. 

About The Trust for Governors Island 

The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission  is to realize the full potential of Governors Island for the inspiration and enjoyment of all New Yorkers,  demonstrating a bold vision for public space. 

For more information, visit 

About the School Construction Authority 

The School Construction Authority's (SCA) mission is to design and construct safe, attractive, and  environmentally sound public schools for children throughout the many communities of New York City.  We are dedicated to building and modernizing schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while  achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality, and integrity. 

For more information, visit