GRAMERCY — The Friends Seminary is renovating its deteriorating courtyard and building a brand-new faculty center in time for the coming school year.
The Gramercy-based Quaker school's four buildings at 222 E. 16th St. face a large paved courtyard that is popular among the students, with benches and a basketball court, said Ernie Grigg, spokesman of the K-to-12 school.
Heavy use has worn away the courtyard's pavement and drainage system, making it impossible for the school's 752 students to use the space when it rains, Grigg said.
“[Students] have a very strong attachment to the courtyard,” he said. “There are basketball hoops and it’s big enough to play kickball. The students loved to sit out there and study and eat their lunches. It’s the centerpiece of the school."
Renovations began in June, and the schoolyard will be completely repaved and landscaped by the start of the school year, Grigg said.
The school is also building a new faculty center in the basement of the main building, including a lounge, offices for each department and two conference rooms for students and parents to meet.
"The faculty are excited because the dedicated work space means that they don't have to schedule their prep time around classroom schedules," Grigg said of the space, which is also set to open this fall.
The students' antiquated locker room, which hasn’t been renovated since 1963, is getting a summer makeover as well.
The school, which charges $37,000 in annual tuition, declined to reveal the cost of the renovation projects.