Santa Monica's PS1 Elementary School Dedicates New Building, Play Yard

Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 2:24:00 AM

Mitch James

From left: Co-Founders Ellie Pelcyger and Joel Pelcyger, Mayor Richard Bloom, PS1 Board Chair Matt Schwab, PS1 Capital Campaign Chair Sharon Morrill and Former Board Chair Joanne Van Emburgh. They are standing on the new bridge, roofed with solar panels, that connects the campus.
Courtesy Photo
From left: Co-Founders Ellie Pelcyger and Joel Pelcyger, Mayor Richard Bloom, PS1 Board Chair Matt Schwab, PS1 Capital Campaign Chair Sharon Morrill and Former Board Chair Joanne Van Emburgh. They are standing on the new bridge, roofed with solar panels, that connects the campus.

PS1 Elementary School, located at 1225 Broadway in Santa Monica, realized a decade-long dream on Sunday when it dedicated its brand new building and play yard with a community-wide celebration.

Marking its 40th anniversary this year, PS1 espouses a philosophy of “pluralism,” which is a commitment to diversity and interconnectedness in both the community and classroom; a school where fitting in is about being yourself.

“It’s not how smart a child is; it’s how a child is smart,” said the school’s founder and headmaster, Joel Pelcyger.

A gymnasium, music room, art studio, library, and sustainable landscaping are just a few of the additions that grew behind the construction fences over the past year.

A new 60-foot walkway covered with photo voltaic panels links the existing facility with a new 7500 square-foot multi-purpose building including administrative offices and classrooms.

Architect Wade Killefer, whose firm -- Killefer Flammang Architects -- designed the new facilities.

“It is significant that Joel was concerned with sustainability and the environment long before it became the fashion,” Killefer said.

The school won the 2011 Grand Prize for Excellence in Sustainable Economic Development, Social Responsibility and Stewardship of the Environment -- a program annually sponsored by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

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