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The Storm King School

Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY

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Storm King School site plan

Background and Context
The Storm King School is a co-educational college preparatory boarding school located on a 25 acre campus with sweeping views of the Hudson River and the valley below. Located on Storm King Mountain, the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, the school is adjacent to the 4,000 acre Black Rock Forest nature preserve. With the school approaching its 150th anniversary, the SKS Board made the decision to embark on a strategic planning effort with a goal of securing the school’s future, increasing enrollment to a sustained level of 250 students and developing a greater level of synergy between educational programs and facilities.

Master Plan Principles, Consensus Building and Design
JCJ Architecture undertook a comprehensive building facilities survey, reviewed deferred maintenance scope and ongoing operations and management costs. Understanding the importance of the project to SKS achieving the goals outlined in the strategic plan, the team worked with the Head of School, Chief Financial Officer, Department Heads and Board members on building consensus around a flexible-framework Master Plan. Specifically, the plan created a framework for decision making and prioritization of capital projects in keeping with the school’s enrollment goals. In addition, the plan considered zoning of pedestrian and vehicular pathways with an eye toward safety and security. The plan predicted incremental steps to identifying a visual identity for the campus both upon initial approach and also once on campus. The step-by-step implementation of the Master Plan also suggested future adjacent site acquisitions which would strengthen the school’s future on the mountaintop. Impacts of the master plan have already been felt in the business operations, programming and enrollment at the school.

The core of the plan predicts a multi-phase approach that address school’s financial goals of increasing boarding and enrollment capabilities. In addition to the modernization and repair of existing facilities, the master plan called for the addition of a new Academic Center and new dormitory to accommodate the school’s growing attendance.