92: Rooftop Playground | Merrick Academy Charter School

1h 00m 51s | 2024 Apr 26
In this episode, Cherise is joined by David Briggs, AIA, LEED AP, CPHD, Principal and Founding Partner at Loci (LO-SCI) Architecture in New York, and Dr. Adrian C. Manual, Executive Director at Merrick Academy Charter School. They discuss the Merrick Academy Charter School in Queens, New York.

In the vibrant streets of Queens, New York City, awaits the new home of Merrick Academy Charter School, primed to emerge as a hub of educational excellence and communal advancement.

This 60,000-square-foot edifice, situated within a dynamic neighborhood, transcends mere architectural form. It serves as a tangible manifestation of the community's collective vision—to cultivate young intellects and ignite an enduring love for learning.

Project Name and Location: Merrick Academy Charter School, Queens, New York

A new building designed for a K-8 STEAM-based charter school in Queens that's growing and expanding its reach.
Loci took time to understand MACS's needs and introduced them to an experienced developer to help make their vision a reality.
The 60,000 sf building is planned to accommodate nearly 1,000 students, with a compact layout for maximum space efficiency.

Amenities include a full-size gymnasium, cafeteria with a full cooking kitchen, two rooftop playgrounds, a community center, and an outdoor garden. Construction begins in early 2024, targeting completion for Fall 2025.

Project Team List:

School - Merrick Academy Charter School
Developer - Barone Management LLC
Architect - Loci Architecture PLLC (David Briggs, Keita Takahashi, Sheena Enriquez)
Structural Engineer - Elevated Engineering NYC
MEPF Engineer - All City Engineering, P.C.
Owner’s Representative - Schoolhouse Project
Environmental Consultant - VHB
Kitchen Consultant - The Sam Tell Companies
Expeditor - Express Filing
General Contractor - B Contractors Group LLC

Rendering Credit: Loci Architecture

David Briggs AIA LEED AP CPHD, Principal | Founding Partner; Loci Architecture;

Dave founded Loci Architecture in 1998. His firm has completed a wide range of projects, including
master plans, feasibility studies, new construction, exterior restorations, building renovations, and
interior designs in various sectors such as academic, cultural, residential, and commercial.
In addition to his architectural work, Dave has a strong interest in urban planning and community
activism. He is the Executive Director of Gowanus by Design, a non-profit organization that focuses on
long-term urban design strategies in the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn.
He also co-chairs the Land Use Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 6 and is a member of the
Executive Committee, broadening his interests in community engagement.
Dave's educational background includes a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, where he also pursued a Minor in Studio Arts. He is a LEED-accredited
professional and a Certified Passive House Designer. In his spare time he can be found in his painting
studio or playing soccer.

Dr. Adrian C. Manuel, Executive Director; Merrick Academy Charter School;

As the Executive Director of Merrick Academy, Adrian oversees the strategic vision and operations of a
high-performing charter school that serves over 500 students in Queens, New York. With an EdD in
Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, he brings more than
20 years of experience in transforming K-12 education through innovative and inclusive practices.
His core competencies include staff development, adult education, and systems thinking, which enable
him to create interdependencies and learning ecosystems that foster accountability, organizational
learning, and innovation. He is passionate about empowering the next generation of learners with the
skills and mindsets they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world. His mission is to inspire, mentor,
and drive systemic change that bridges the gap between today's learning and tomorrow's challenges.


Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT  image
Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT
Senior Spec Writer | RDH Building Science
David Briggs AIA LEED AP CPHD image
Principal | Loci Architecture
Dr. Adrian C. Manuel image
Dr. Adrian C. Manuel
Executive Director | Merrick Academy Charter School