NEW YORK, NY.- Row New York announced today that award-winning architecture firm Foster + Partners will design a new boathouse and flagship location for the nonprofit organization, which offers a competitive rowing and academic success program to students from underserved communities throughout New York City. The new 14,000-square-foot facility is being designed pro bono by Foster + Partners in association with Bade Stageberg Cox and will be the first boathouse in the country designed to serve teens and adults in under-resourced communities.
Located on the Harlem River in northern Manhattan, the new boathouse will allow Row New York to dramatically expand its youth program for middle and high school students from New Yorks most underserved schools and will feature a learning center with two state-of-the-art classrooms to accommodate the organizations academic programs. It will also broaden community access to the waterfront, with five boat bays that can accommodate up to 60 boats, community programming, and kayaks for public use. Designs for the boathouse, which are going through an approval process with NYC Parks and the Public Design Commission, are expected to be unveiled in fall 2018.
Established in 2002, Row New York provides individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds the opportunity to learn to row in a team setting, providing lifelong benefits both on and off the water. The nonprofit focuses on reaching underserved youth in particular through an intensive program that pairs rowing with rigorous academic tutoring and college readiness. Over the past five years, 100% of the high school seniors who participated in Row New Yorks youth program have graduated on time, and 96% have matriculated to college. With over 200 students on its waitlist each year, the new boathouse and learning center will enable the organization to more than double the number of students served, as well as to expand its scholastic, adult, and adaptive rowing programs.
Crew fosters teamwork, determination, and focus. As a rower myself, I saw firsthand what a tremendous impact rowing can have on an individual, and I started Row New York to provide students from all backgrounds with an opportunity to experience these transformative benefits, both in and out of the boat, said Founder Amanda Kraus. We have expanded our program dramatically since we launched our first boat 15 years ago and have worked to diversify a sport that has traditionally been limited to an elite few. We are thrilled to be working with Foster + Partners on the design and creation of this new boathouse, which will allow us to continue fulfilling our mission at an even larger scale.
I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to design a boathouse for Row New York, an organization that seeks to transform the lives of individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and capabilities, said Lord Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, a global studio for integrated design, rooted in sustainability. I am compelled by the challenges and opportunities that this boathouse particularly one with such intensive and diverse uses presents, both for the city and its citizens.
Row New York was founded in Queens with the belief that the skills learned in rowing are essential to the development of successful, well-rounded individuals. From the outset, the youth program paired rowing with academics and other support services, aiming to help transform the lives of students from underserved communities. From its first boat of eight high-school girls, Row New York has grown over the past 15 years to serve thousands of middle and high school students, giving them the resources, support, and discipline needed to finish high school and successfully matriculate and graduate from college.
In addition to its core student programming, Row New York offers co-ed programs and opportunities for teenagers and adults with disabilities, turnkey programs for schools that want to offer crew to their students, and programs for adults who are experienced rowers or are interested in learning to row. Through its inclusive public programs, Row New York has helped to reintroduce crew along the waterways of New York City, where the sport first started in the United States, while simultaneously making what was once considered an elitist sport more accessible to a wide range of participants. The organization was a winner of the prestigious NY Community Trust Non-Profit Excellence Award in 2014.
Row New York currently operates out of three boathouse located throughout New York City in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The new boathouse reflects the next chapter for the organization, enabling it to expand both its programming and reach.