ITC adopted the use of learning environments for its re-imagined curriculum and home. Typical classrooms focus on a wide range of academic topics, while learning environments emphasize skills and knowledge that directly relate to students’ professional futures. Faculty at ITC develop their curriculum alongside corporate and academic partners. Students are exposed to a rigorous and relevant pre-collegiate curriculum that is grounded in a project-based learning environment.
One of the design team’s primary goals was to create spaces that matched the innovative nature of the school’s curriculum. This project took a dark, worn, and uninviting existing building, and produced a livelier school environment. Strategic alterations brought in additional classroom space, a new gymnasium, and a new main entrance lobby. The design team was able to accomplish this transformation despite challenges such as limited space for expansion, construction without interruption to the district’s network operations center, and financial stresses worsened by extremely poor soil conditions.
This project is noteworthy not only because of its space constraints, but also because of the learning environments that it helps foster. Included is a culinary kitchen with student-run café, automotive lab, robotics lab, forensic science lab, media/studio arts labs, and a TV studio. Each specialty space incorporates labs and adjacent classroom space to provide a seamless transition between instruction and hands-on learning. The project achieved LEED Silver status through measures such as improved energy efficiency, day-lighting, and photovoltaic panels for on-site power generation.
In the end, the final result is a vibrant collection of spaces that inject new life into a once-tired building. The project helps promote ITC’s innovative academic program, facilitating the combination of academic learning and vocational training in a bustling urban environment. The revitalization cements the role of the school as a contributing part of the urban landscape in the City of Syracuse.
In October 2009, SEI Design Group completed an Educational Specifications Report for the Syracuse City School District. The report served as a planning guide for the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central in reconstructing the former Central High School Annex Building built in 1959.
The project was completed in November 2012 and the scope of work included the complete renovation of the building, construction of new two-station gym and lobby/main entry to building, six new classrooms, new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, sprinkler system, and security system, new kitchen, cafeteria, and library, site improvements; and a complete re-roof. This project incorporated green building design to meet LEED Silver status.