Author Archives: Ashley Higgins

KG+D President Testifies Before Federal Commission on School Safety

The managing principal and president of KG+D Architects, Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, testified before the Federal Commission on School Safety to advocate for school design strategies and legislation that will support safer schools. The federal commission roundtable was led by Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen M. Nielsen in Las Vegas, NV at the Miley Achievement Center, a secondary school recognized for providing specialized behavioral, social and emotional support for students.

Pictured: Dick Chase, President ASIS International | Arne Owens, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services | Paul Timm, Vice President, Facility Engineering Associates | Dr. Mick Zais, Deputy Secretary of Education | Tim Troyer, Sheriff of Stuben County, Indiana and President of the Indian Sheriff’s Association | Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, President and Managing Principal, KG+D Architects, PC | Dr. Diane Gullett, Deputy Superintendent, Clark County Schools | Joanne Vattiato, Principal, Miley Achievement Center | Kristjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security Secretary | James Ketssa, Clark County School District Police Chief | Beth Williams, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice

Along with a security consultant and members of law enforcement, Davidson was one of four individuals invited to testify and the only architect on the panel. KG+D has worked with public and private schools throughout the region on projects ranging in size and scope including planning and implementing school security projects for many local districts including Yonkers, Greenwich, Katonah Lewisboro, Somers, Chappaqua, Tuckahoe and Pelham.

As a practitioner for over 30 years in New York state, which was reported to have on average the oldest school buildings in the country, Davidson notes that a real challenge is retrofitting older buildings to incorporate secure design solutions, “the minimum renovations required for reasonable safety is not easy, funding is not available, and the minimum improvements needed may not even be possible do to the configurations of these very old buildings. Retrofitting schools is a challenge, but I think it represents a social imperative that we cannot ignore.”

KG+D’s design approach seeks to balance vigilance and protection with the openness and inclusiveness that defines productive learning environments. A layered approach, that is customized to each situation and population, helps to detect, deter, delay and defend and make the sanctuary that education should represent harder to breach. Davidson notes that architects are part of the solution as are the design responses to creating school environments where students are connected and known to each other and have access to responsible adults and support staff.

The American Institute of Architects, of which Davidson was the 2016 President, launched legislative initiatives last week that outline the Institute’s commitment for improving school design policies, which includes a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill focusing on two main goals. The first is to make architectural and design services for schools an allowable use of funds within existing federal grants. The second would establish a federal clearinghouse of resources on school design best practices for school officials, architects and other design professionals to keep them informed.

“While we know that design alone cannot eliminate the threat of violence, there is more we can do, not only to defend, but to deter,” said Davidson. “This is not an either-or proposition but a both-and approach as we seek to promote schools that are more secure, transparent, engaging and conducive to learning.”

View Complete Testimony Here

Matthew Gallerani + Teresa S. May Named Associates

We are pleased to announce that team members Matthew Gallerani and Teresa S. May have been named Associates of the firm. Matt and Teresa have continually demonstrated their ability to successfully manage complex projects and have provided outstanding service to KG+D’s clients. Russell A. Davidson, President, Erik A. Kaeyer, Vice President and Walter P. Hauser, Principal are proud to recognize Matt and Teresa’s professional accomplishments and enthusiastically welcome them to their new leadership roles in the firm.

 

 

Matthew Gallerani, AIA of Stamford, CT joined KG+D in 2015 and became licensed in New York State in 2018.  Matt earned his Masters in Architecture from Roger Williams University in 2013. As part of the KG+D team, Matt has used his passion for connecting people and belief in sustainable spaces on projects for the Middletown Enlarged City School District, Eastchester Union Free School District and Yale University.

 

 

 

Teresa S. May, AIA of Rye, NY joined KG+D in 2016 as a project architect. Her experience ranges from high end residential projects in Aspen, CO to mixed use residential development in Asbury Park, NJ and commercial property fit outs in New York City. Teresa earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design from Parson’s School of Design in New York City. As part of the KG+D team, Teresa has managed projects for the Upper Westchester Muslim Society, Yonkers Public Library, and Yonkers Public Schools.

 

 

Matt and Teresa have contributed significantly to the firm’s growth and success and are an important part of its future. Their promotions reflect our firm’s commitment to building a strong and dynamic team, as well as our confidence in their continued ability to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients. We look forward to supporting their continued success at the firm in their new roles as Associates.

Middletown Enlarged City School District, Middletown High School

Client:
Middletown Enlarged City School District

Project Scope:
KG+D completed major additions and alterations for Middletown High School. A main feature was a central innovation lab that was fit into an underused interior courtyard space. The central innovation lab has a green roof, brings light into the interior space through clerestory windows and created ancillary classroom spaces, makers spaces and a conference center. The project also included an addition that modified the main entry, created a third-floor innovation space with smaller breakout spaces and a new classroom wing.

Completion Date:
September 2017

More:
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Grand Opening: Great Neck Public Library

Dominic Calgi, Owner's Rep., Mark Foster, VRD Construction, Marietta DeCamillo, President of the Board of Trustees of Great Neck Library and Russell A. Davidson, FAIA President KG+D Architects, PC

Dominic Calgi, Owner’s Rep., Mark Foster, VRD Construction, Marietta DeCamillo, President of the Board of Trustees of Great Neck Library and Russell A. Davidson, FAIA President KG+D Architects, PC

The Great Neck Public Library’s Main Branch officially opened to the public on October 30th after a major renovation of their main branch, generally working within the existing footprint, to support current services and emerging technology. The Great Neck Library Board president, Marietta DiCamillo, said about 600 people, including elected officials, employees and members of the public, attended Sunday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.

“I have to tell you, it just feels wonderful,” DiCamillo said about the building’s opening. “All along our first and most important thought was providing the community with an excellent building with all new infrastructure and equipment.”

The project goals included: creating more meeting spaces and reading areas, developing an open and user-friendly environment, improving connections between levels of the building, increasing children’s spaces, consolidating staff and technical service areas and updating the building’s infrastructure to be more energy efficient.

Read More: Great Neck Record + The Island Now

Norwalk Golf Venue Looks to Future Members

Erik Kaeyer, KG+D Architects' Vice President describes Shorehaven Golf Club's newly renovated clubhouse. Shorehaven attributes the rebuild to a resurgence in membership and related bookings.

Erik Kaeyer, KG+D Architects’ Vice President describes Shorehaven Golf Club’s newly renovated clubhouse. Shorehaven attributes the rebuild to a resurgence in membership and related bookings.

In a bid to refresh its appeal — particularly to younger member prospects and organizations considering event space — Shorehaven heads into the golf season’s fallow months with a rebuilt facility, the overhaul led by Mount Kisco, N.Y.-based KG+D Architects and the New Canaan-based landscape architect Wesley Stout Associates. In addition to the main clubhouse and grounds, the renovations encompassed an enlarged pool pavilion with construction still underway on a new summer youth camp structure. The new facilities were designed in the New England Shingle Style of architecture, according to Erik Kaeyer, a Wilton resident who led the project as design principal and vice president with KG+D.

“Clubs regionally and nationally are seeing a decline in membership, so you are seeing a lot of clubs in the area start to (look) at their infrastructure, at to what they have to do to try and attract new members,” Kaeyer said. “We really wanted to bring the outside in — so big windows. … They wanted to make sure they maxed out on the opportunity (for people) to sit outside, take advantage of the views.”

Dwyer said the redesign is having its intended effect, with nine weddings and six golf outings booked for next year and inquiries coming in daily. For his part, Kaeyer says he will miss his visits to the club to work through the myriad construction challenges of the project, but maintains the members and by extension the city are a better place with a rebuilt Shorehaven along Long Island Sound.

“You look at this club five years ago, the outdoor seating and all that, and you look at it now and it’s an easy sell,” Kaeyer said.

Link to Full Article

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Great Neck Public Library

Client:
Great Neck Public Library

Project Scope:
KG+D collaborated with Great Neck Public Library on a major renovation of their main branch, generally working within the existing footprint, to support current services and emerging technology. The project goals included: creating more meeting spaces and reading areas, developing an open and userfriendly environment, improving connections between levels of the building, increasing children’s spaces, consolidating staff and technical service areas and updating the building’s infrastructure to be more energy efficient.

Completion Date:
October 2016

Groundbreaking: Brewster Central School District

Left to right: KG+D team members Ryan Carper, Sarah Dirsa, Joseph Reilly, Dr. Timothy Conway former Superintendent of Brewster CSD, KG+D team members Susan Davidson and Russ Davidson, Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte Superintendent of Brewster CSD and Victor Karlsson Director of Business Services

Left to right: KG+D team members Ryan Carper, Sarah Dirsa, Joseph Reilly, Dr. Timothy Conway former Superintendent of Brewster CSD, KG+D team members Susan Davidson and Russ Davidson, Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte Superintendent of Brewster CSD and Victor Karlsson Director of Business Services

Brewster Central School District held a groundbreaking ceremony on September 1, 2016 marking the beginning of renovation and addition projects that are to be completed at JFK Elementary School, CV Star Intermediate School and Brewster High School. The projects are a part of a $40 million dollar bond referendum that was passed in December 2014 of which the overall program is currently under budget and ahead of schedule.
Following a series of capital improvement projects associated with the referendum—including roof repairs, asbestos removal and security upgrades—the larger projects are set to begin immediately. The projects being completed at Brewster High School include extensive locker room and weight room renovations, a reorganized and streamlined cafeteria servery and a flexible and innovative learning commons. CV Star Intermediate School will gain a new two-story four-classroom addition. JFK Elementary School will undergo multiple additions including a six classroom, library and cafeteria addition. Furthermore, the elementary school’s existing roundhouse building will feature a new terrace off the discovery and innovation center with bi-fold doors that open to an interior courtyard providing for indoor and outdoor learning spaces.

“KG+D is committed to our partnership with Brewster Central School District,” said Russell Davidson, FAIA President of KG+D Architects, “we are honored to have the opportunity to build upon our past success together while working toward the future goals that will allow the District to continue to provide flexible, innovative and student-center spaces.”

The various projects will be implemented in phases throughout the 2016-2017 school year and the new additions will be ready for use in September 2017.

Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

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Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

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Shorehaven Golf Club

Shorehaven Golf Club

Client:
Shorehaven Golf Club

Project Scope:
KG+D collaborated with the Shorehaven Golf Club on a two-phased transformation of their campus facilities, encompassing a complete renovation of the main clubhouse and surrounding site, the pool house and the tennis pavilion.

Completion Date:
June 2016

KG+D Wins 914INC. Small Business Award

KG+D Principals (left to right) Walter P. Hauser, Russell A. Davidson and Erik A. Kaeyer Photography: Toshi Tasaki

KG+D Principals (left to right) Walter P. Hauser, Russell A. Davidson and Erik A. Kaeyer
Photography: Toshi Tasaki

The KG+D team is proud to be among the 14 Westchester organizations to be recognized as part of 914INC 4th Annual Small Business Awards. KG+D was recognized in the General Excellence category. Our 32-person team is proud to be a part of the thriving small-business community in Westchester County and prouder to collaborate with numerous county educational facilities, municipalities, religious institutions and businesses organizations.
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Eagle Hill School – Community Room

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School

Client:
Eagle Hill School

Project Scope:
The community room was a part of a phase one renovation and addition project as part of the school’s “Building on Excellence” capital campaign. The 350-seat community room was designed to replace a small and limiting theater that was restrictive to the school’s needs. The addition allowed for the remaking of an open, flexible space that allows the school to bring the entire student body and faculty together for special assemblies, celebrations and graduations.

Completion Date:
February 2016

Scarsdale High School Learning Commons

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Client:
Scarsdale Union Free School District

Project Scope:
KG+D is currently collaborating with Scarsdale High School to re-make an underused gymnasium and auto shop into an innovative learning commons and design lab. The commons will serve a variety of purposes: an auxiliary cafeteria, satellite library, technology or computer lab, collaborative group workroom and informal performance space with supporting small group workspaces. The new design lab is focused on creating a flexible multi-use space that allows students to model, test and physically make products and prototypes to test their ideas.

Completion Date:
On the Boards

More:
Watch

Yonkers Public Schools Capacity Study

Press Conference held on May 24th released the findings of KG+D's capacity study.

Press Conference held on May 24th released the findings of KG+D’s capacity study.

 

On Tuesday May 24, 2016 Mayor Mike Spano and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada held a press conference announcing the findings of a building capacity study completed by KG+D Architects, PC. The study revealed Yonkers’ 39 schools are overcapacity by 4,428 seats for its enrollment of 27,000 students, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Due to the lack of adequate space in many schools, class sizes, specifically in elementary schools and special education services are below New York State Office of Facilities Planning standards.

“The numbers released today are alarming — it is evident that we are placing our young children, especially those with special needs, in substandard learning environments that are likely to worsen each year. KG+D’s study should serve as a wake-up call to our state leaders that now is the time to act to rebuild Yonkers schools.”

– Mayor Spano

More: Read + Watch

Bronxville Schools Auditorium Grand Opening

Ribbon cutting for Bronxville Schools' newly renovated auditorium.

Ribbon cutting for Bronxville Schools’ newly renovated auditorium.

The Bronxville School celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated auditorium on Wednesday, December 16, 2015. The celebration featured performances by members of the Bronxville High School Chorus, Orchestra and Band, as well as a special recognition of the PTA, Bronxville School Foundation and private donors who were instrumental in the success of the renovation project.
Originally built in 1922, the Bronxville School auditorium was urgently in need of reconfiguration and restoration. In spite of ongoing work to maintain the facility, by 2012 the auditorium was in a state of disrepair with missing seats, poor lighting, improper sightlines, and non-functional balcony that was no longer in use. Additionally, a 1960s renovation created a false proscenium over the original and closed in the tall windows on both sides of the auditorium. As a result, the renovated proscenium swallowed performance sound and the lack of natural light reduced the auditorium’s flexibility.
KG+D partnered with the Bronxville USFD to collaboratively restore the beauty and functionality of the original auditorium while incorporating 21st Century elements to create a multi-use space for the Bronxville community. The project goals included maximizing seating capacity and performance space, improving sightlines and the overall acoustics of the space and creating a separate space for public access.
The Bronxville Auditorium is a flexible, accessible and technologically advanced theater space that functions as the center of the Bronxville School Community and is an asset to the Village of Bronxville.
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KG+D Project Wins AIANYS Excelsior Award

AIANYS President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, FAIA with KG+D’s Bronxville Schools Auditorium project team members Erik J. Wilson AIA, Associate Principal and Brian O. Mangan AIA, Associate.

AIANYS President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, FAIA with KG+D’s Bronxville Schools Auditorium project team members Erik J. Wilson AIA, Associate Principal and Brian O. Mangan AIA, Associate.

KG+D is proud to announce that the Bronxville Schools Auditorium was honored with the AIANYS Excelsior Award of Distinction in Public Architecture. The AIANYS Excelsior Awards celebrate design and professional excellence in publically funded buildings in New York State. KG+D was proud to partner with the Bronxville Union Free School District on this dynamic community gathering and performance space:

“KG+D is honored to be recognized by AIANYS for our work with Bronxville Union Free School District on the renovated auditorium,” said Russell A. Davidson, FAIA President of KG+D Architects, PC. “As the majority of our firm’s work is based in publicly funded projects, our team takes pride in partnering with organizations and institutions to provide beautiful spaces for the community. The historically mindful, flexible, community focused, auditorium that developed through a true collaboration with Bronxville Union Free School is a direct reflection of the Bronxville community.”
-Russell A. Davidson

Mount Kisco Architects Work to Make Schools Safer

While safety and security have always been an important part of school planning and design, the recent increase in violent school tragedies have renewed the sense of urgency and put safety at the forefront of conversations about school buildings. KG+D has worked with many educational facilities throughout the Lower Hudson Valley to address this critical issue and fortify schools without turning them into fortresses.

“Security in schools often comes down to finding the right balance between visibility and the ability to isolate a portion of the population,” said Russell Davidson, one of the firm’s principal architects. “Completely open plans with lots of glass are and completely closed buildings with no visual connections can be equally inappropriate. The ability to see what is going on and to be seen, behind a secure enclosure, by law enforcement can often lead to a safer environment. Of course this needs to be combined with the ability to find a safe refuge where you cannot be seen when there is an active threat. These are the reasons why security planning is an architectural design challenge often completed in active collaboration with building administrators and security specialists. Each solution is a unique approach that is tailored to the population and the specific building configuration.”

As school architects, our goal is to incorporate secure design solutions without detracting from the impression of the learning environment. The goal is to increase the time it takes to get into and out of buildings; the overall strategy to create delay and in turn create more time for administration to react and for first responders to arrive. While schools cannot be designed completely around aggressive intruders, they can incorporate secure design solutions that increase student and teacher safety.

Link to the Full Article

Russell A. Davidson, Inaugurated as the 92nd President of the AIA

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Web_Russ Speaking

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Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, Managing Principal + President of KG+D Architects was inaugurated as the 92nd President of the AIA during ceremonies held on December 4th, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He succeeds the 91st President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, in representing nearly 88,000 AIA members.

“Now is the time to move from good to great and to fully realize the potential of one of our country’s oldest professional associations,” said Davidson at his inauguration. “In an election year we will leverage the attention paid to the future of America to point out that architects, along with our partners in the design and construction industry, not only designed the places that define American cities towns and villages, but also are the leading edge of a major economic force.”

Davidson has held a multitude of elected positions within the AIA including serving as president of AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley in 1999 and president of AIA New York State in 2007. He joined the AIA National Board in 2009 and served as AIA Vice President from 2012-2013. Throughout his national leadership tenure, Davidson has maintained a special focus on government and public advocacy for architects and architecture.

Photo Credit: William Stewart Photography

Read More:
AIA
914INC

Dobbs Ferry Middle/High School Cafeteria

Dobbs Ferry School

Dobbs Ferry School

Client:
Dobbs Ferry Union Free School District

Project Scope:
Dobbs Ferry Union Free School District sought to transform their middle/high school cafeteria into an inviting cafeteria commons and create a resource for the Dobbs Ferry community. The reorganized and redesigned cafeteria features a more flexible configuration, utilizes natural light and the adjacent courtyard, created improved circulation and provided for more efficient kitchen and servery facilities.

Completion Date:
2014

Guiding Eyes for the Blind – Canine Development Center

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Client:
Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Project Scope:
Built using green construction initiatives, the Canine Development Center’s 30-acre new and renovated campus includes a puppy training pavilion, new male and female kennels, open living areas, outdoor areas for off-leash exercise and a new veterinary hospital with state of the art equipment. The Center is utilized for breeding, birthing, socializing and screening dogs. The expansion nearly doubled the size of the original facilities, providing more teaching space for staff and volunteers to work together and have additional opportunities for orientation and training sessions.

Completion Date:
2015

Mount Kisco Architects Lead Education Innovation

H:AllprojectsScarsdale UFSD2013-1099 Scarsdale HS Master Plan

Scarsdale High School innovation lab rendering by KG&D Architects, PC

 

KG+D was featured in an article by the Westchester Business Journal discussing some of our current collaborations with local school districts that are leading the way in educational facility design.

“As the flipped classroom permeates secondary education, the function of the school building is also changing. There are more flexible spaces more conducive to group work and small group instruction rather than lectures. It’s an exciting time in the school system full of significant change.”

-Russell Davidson

Read More:

Westchester Business Journal