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With Rooftop Garden Designed By ‘Starchitect,’ Earth School Branches Out

IMG_1187Courtesy 5th Street Farm Project The Earth School’s rooftop.
IMG_1196Courtesy 5th Street Farm Project Manure awaiting installation

Not only are middle-schoolers at P.S. 64 creating traffic signs, they may soon be growing ingredients for school lunches. This fall, the Earth School, which shares a building with P.S. 64, plans to unveil a $1.1 million rooftop garden designed by Michael Arad, the architect of the 9/11 Memorial.

Five years ago, Abbe Futterman, a science teacher at Earth School, had the idea of turning the 56-year-old building’s roof into an outdoor classroom. To get there, the school had to develop a cost-friendly design, procure over a million dollars in funding with the help of local politicians, and get necessary city approvals – complicated steps for building professionals, let alone schoolteachers and administrators focused on students.

IMG_1180Courtesy 5th Street Farm Project Stairs to the green roof.

The Earth School’s principal, Alison Hazut, said the project received a major push from one individual: “It really was a parent saying, ‘I can help to make this happen.’ And that parent was Michael Arad.” Read more…