Little Red Schoolhouse North Greenbush, NY

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Originally constructed in 1861, the Little Red Schoolhouse is one of the last functioning one-room schoolhouses in New York State. Due to a rapid population increase in the Town of North Greenbush over the past decade, the schoolhouse was over capacity and in need of both expansion and renovation. Phinney Design Group worked with the school district to design and plan the new capital project which includes both the historic preservation of the existing schoolhouse and a roughly 4,000 square foot addition. The addition triples the amount of classroom space, adds multiple breakout and individual learning areas, and moves the district offices from off-campus to a central location within the building.

The exterior of the addition is designed with an agrarian aesthetic that blends modern architecture with the historic motif of the existing building and rural heritage of the site. Dark gray board and batten siding was chosen to visually recess the addition and emphasize the historic one-room schoolhouse. The new main entrance mimics the proportions of the existing schoolhouse through the use of natural brick and custom, historically sensitive windows. All historic spaces, ceilings and wainscotting were renovated and restored as faithfully as possible to re-establish the school’s original design language. The connection to the addition was designed to enclose what was once the existing mechanical room, touching the building lightly and creating as minimal a disturbance as possible. Modern and historic language flows together as you navigate the building’s interior.