Dear Neighbor, Friends Seminary hopes this message finds you well, and again thanks you for your support and patience as we have remodeled our campus. We are writing with exciting news for the School and the neighborhood. Next week, Friends will begin the installation of the James Turrell Skyspace, the capstone element to the Campus Redevelopment Project. Designed and donated to Friends by Quaker James Turrell, one of America’s greatest living artists, the Skyspace will be located on the roof of 218 East 16th Street—adjacent to the existing elevator bulkhead of nearly identical height. This will be the only public Skyspace in Manhattan and the only one attached to a K-12 school anywhere. At Friends, it will serve as a spiritual and educational space for our students, the community and the city. Construction With the structural foundation laid earlier in the project, the process of installing the Skyspace will be minimally impactful from a noise perspective and the space is projected to be fully enclosed in October 2022. Once enclosed, the intricate interior lighting installation will begin, and the Skyspace is expected to open in early 2023. Construction activity will take place Monday–Friday (except in cases of emergency or activities that are not permitted to take place during the week), and work will not begin prior to 7AM. The majority of construction staging will take place on 15th Street, which will remain open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic during the project. Please note: There will be a one-day street closure of 16th Street in August in order to complete street and sidewalk restoration work; the date for this activity is TBD but will be noticed to neighbors in advance. During the previous phases of the redevelopment project, the School received a number of very helpful suggestions from neighbors regarding ways to improve site logistics, operations and other quality of life considerations during construction. Please be aware that we retained these recommendations and have shared them with the contractors who will be installing the Skyspace. The Skyspace itself is a relatively small, modular room, measuring 20' W x 22.5' L X 20.5’ H. The main elements of the structure will be constructed off-site and then brought to the School for assembly and installation.
Upcoming Detailed Schedule & Contact In August, the School will resume the process of publishing monthly construction updates on the this page, and will send periodic email updates to all neighbors who previously signed-up to receive building communications from Friends. Should neighbors have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of our team will respond at the earliest opportunity. Public Access Finally, upon completion of the project, the School will share a public visitation schedule and hours, along with the system by which neighbors as well as neighboring schools and members of the public may reserve time to experience the Skyspace. Friends Seminary greatly appreciates your continued patience as we complete this exciting, final public component of our Redevelopment Project. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us with any questions. Respectfully, Friends Seminary