The SAR Academy building is characterized by open architecture, expansive views of the Hudson River, two main 64-step stairways and grade-wide spaces without walls. This unique space is the home for over 900 students (Nursery–Grade 8) who fill the building with the sounds of learning, Torah, friendship and enormous energy. Our students spend more time in the SAR building than anywhere else besides their own homes. To our faculty and staff’s credit, this is the setting in which they make extraordinary things happen in an atmosphere full of love and respect.
During the past several months, SAR Academy has undergone its largest expansion since the original building was erected in 1974. The first expansion of the original structure took place in 2001 when the Junior High and Atrium were built. Here we are, 15 years later, with an additional 34,000 square feet of living and learning space. This expansion includes a new full-size gymnasium, new classroom spaces for our Middle School students, a new Beit Midrash, a renovated lobby, a new multipurpose room and a new Middle School lunchroom. In addition, we are creating a new science lab for students in Grades 3–5 as well as a new art classroom for our elementary school students.
In February, we celebrated our expansion with the students at our Chanukat HaBayit—to celebrate the opening of the new gym. It was an exciting day with lots of “SAR Sting” school spirit, a schoolwide pep rally on the steps to kick off the day and grade-specific activities in the gym throughout the day.
Last week, more than 300 parents, grandparents, faculty and friends joined us for a special Chanukat HaBayit, a community celebration of the expansion. At the event, we dedicated the new sixth-grade classroom wing in memory of Rabbi Sheldon Chwat, z”l, SAR’s founding principal, and attendees participated in several breakout sessions, including a Flybarre class for women, Krav Maga for men, a session about nutrition, an opportunity to be creative using our new 3D printer and a parenting discussion about stretching ourselves and our children physically and spiritually to keep fit and healthy from a Torah perspective.
All of these renovations and new spaces are providing the students with the space they need for learning, discussions, projects and more!
By Jennifer Fenster