The Challenge Preparatory Middle School is integrated into the Tides North apartment complex at Arverne By The Sea, a new beachfront community of urban lifestyle dwellings in Far Rockaway. As part of Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Urban Renewal Plan that formed the framework for this new community, the developer is responsible for building a new charter school to accommodate 360 students. After Urbahn completed the master plan for Tides North, the developer engaged the firm to design the charter school.
Urbahn’s design harmonizes with the local seaside architecture while establishing a unique identity. The design of employs cluster-based planning to create scholar focused learning centers, wherein each of its three grades collocates a full complement of academic spaces. The façade features an economical cementitious panel system with vivid colors to distinguish the building from the nearby residential and commercial structures.