Riverdale Country School’s New Aquatic Center Connects to Nature

BRONX, N.Y. — Riverdale Country School in the Bronx recently completed an aquatic center. Located on the Hill Campus, the center is a key component of the college preparatory school’s plans for updating athletic facilities for its Middle and Upper School.

The 13,000-square-foot space features a six-lane USA Swimming–certified pool with bleachers, locker rooms and a lobby gathering space. The lobby and pool spaces are set behind a tall ribbon of north-facing glass, showcasing the adjacent treetops and hillside, and reinforcing the building’s connection to other athletic facilities on campus. Specifically, it was constructed with pillar supports that allow students to see the view of the Frank J. Bertino Memorial Field from the top of the hill. Shawmut Design and Construction built the facility, working closely with designer PBDW Architects — both of which have offices in New York.

“It was an exhilarating experience for our team to rise to the challenge of building the center on top of a steep, rocky hill,” said Tony Miliote, Shawmut’s vice president, in a statement. “The complex logistics were well worth the effort, resulting in a facility that not only maintains the area’s scenic beauty, but will allow both students and visitors to enjoy a state-of-the-art aquatic center.”

Shawmut carefully selected materials with durability in mind due to the corrosive nature of the pool environment. The space features multiple sustainable elements, including a highly efficient building envelope, reduced energy loads by capturing heat from the pool dehumidification systems, water use reduction, storm water quantity control, use of recycled and regional materials, and increased indoor air quality, according to a statement.

Shawmut is also working on renovations to Riverdale’s Marc A. Zambetti ’80 Athletic Center and recently completed the Lower School’s new Upper Learning Building on the River Campus in August 2016. The new Upper Learning Building replaced the former Perkins Building, with a design that similarly connects students to the outdoors. It allows all third- through fifth-grade classes to learn in one location for greater collaboration.