Andrew Franz Architect Donates Design Services to East Harlem School

The goal of the pro-bono project is to transform the multipurpose classrooms into more uplifting, usable and comfortable spaces.

The goal of the pro-bono project is to transform the multipurpose classrooms into more uplifting, usable and comfortable spaces.

For non-profit groups working for the greater good, design allies can be a valuable asset.

That’s why New York-based Andrew Franz Architect and Union Settlement Association, a non-profit resource for residents of New York’s East Harlem neighborhood, were paired by a charity-focused matchmaker recently.

The goal of the pro-bono project was mission-critical: Transforming multipurpose classrooms for adults and after-school kids’ facilities to be more uplifting, usable and comfortable. More challenging, the work had to be inexpensive and lasting for the non-profit client’s carefully monitored budget, too.

“Our work was to reimagine the classrooms creating an inspiring, adaptable and healthy place for learning,” says Andrew Franz. “So we directed the improvements to things that had the most impact—not just visually, but also in terms of supporting effective education.”

The best value for groups like Union Settlement Association often start with fresh painting; lighting controls, such as dimmers; and window treatments. Andrew Franz Architect also recommended new furniture; acoustical control; and educational additions, such as whiteboards, pin-up boards and cubbies—all in support of the group’s central mission.

“Best of all, through a team fundraising effort, most of the construction services and materials were donated,” Franz recalls. “This year students and teachers are enjoying brighter, fresher, and more functional and fun spaces for growth and learning.”

Photo: Andrew Franz Architect

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