Riverdale Country School

Hill Campus - Middle and Upper School

Founded in 1907, Riverdale Country School (RCS) is a nationally-recognized, coeducational K-12 institution with two campuses in the Bronx. To improve the functionality of its campuses and support long term planning efforts, RCS embarked on an overall planning process to evaluate how its existing facilities were performing against their current pedagogic goals. As a result of this study, several priority projects were identified to move forward.

The projects in development on the Hill Campus, which houses the academic and extra-curricular facilities for the Middle and Upper Schools (Grade Six to Twelve), include:

  • A New Natatorium to replace the existing swim facility which will include a six-lane competition swimming pool with the associated locker rooms, support spaces and seating areas
  • Renovation of the Zambetti Athletic Center to upgrade the varsity gymnasium, including sport and assembly uses, conversion of the existing pool into a junior varsity training gym, and the renovation of other fitness and administrative spaces
  • The Mow Energy Conversion Project centralizes natural gas energy distribution on the campus, is optimized through an automated control system, and reduces the school’s carbon footprint

The site has a dramatic topography and is located within a Special Natural Area District (SNAD). The design required coordination to improve the physical connectivity of the campus while maintaining views of the beautiful natural surroundings. The projects faced a series of complex phasing and logistical challenges and required careful planning to allow the school to maintain its day-to-day operations. The Hill Campus projects received unanimous Community Board approval.

Role + Responsibilities

Zubatkin assisted RCS in the strategic planning process, identifying critical decision points and options to move forward. Once the priority projects were identified, the Zubatkin team developed a framework for the architect and construction manager selection process, outlining specific design challenges that allowed RCS to more effectively evaluate candidates. Zubatkin helped develop the overall project implementation strategy, including community relations and municipal approvals, and provided the project financial controls, administration and reporting. The In-House Technical Group reviewed the project logistics, phasing alternates, and costs. The firm has also been engaged to oversee the design and brought the projects to the start of construction.

Related Projects

  • Client Riverdale Country School
  • Location Bronx, NY
  • Size

    13,087 sf (New Natatorium Building)
    34,000 sf (Zambetti Athletic Building Renovation)

  • Architect
    • PBDW Architects
  • Construction Manager
    • Shawmut Design and Construction

Natatorium Target: LEED Silver

Commissioning optimizes building efficiencies

Mechanical system ventilation provides pool heat recovery

Oil to gas mechanical plant conversion meets school’s carbon reduction goal

Native plantings reduce water consumption

Storm water retained on site

Cool roof reduces urban heat island effects

No VOC materials used