Schools Face Their Biggest Test Yet

August 22, 2020 – Media Mention
Commercial Observer

Herrick real estate partner Neil Shapiro spoke to the Commercial Observer and discussed how COVID-19 and the return to classrooms across New York are affecting his clients, including Classical Charter Schools, Zeta Charter Schools and Ascend Charter Schools. 

The article states, "Shapiro said safe reentry is first and foremost on every charter administrator’s mind, and developments that started construction before the outbreak are not changing." Adding that Neil is, "working with a handful of charter school developments in the Bronx, including one that was supposed to open in September. But now it will probably be a month late, partially due to construction delays caused by coronavirus shutdowns, as charter schools were originally not considered essential."

Neil told the Commercial Observer, "In discussions with design and construction teams, I have not seen any specific, systemic proposed changes. Now, we’re all being practical, and everybody knows there are issues in terms of what we need to do, and in terms of redesigning on a temporary basis. That is going on now at some of these sites, often with landlords’ help... It has entered into discussions with the architect and the project managers on a somewhat limited basis."

The article also stated that Neil's clients are also "redesigning rooftop playgrounds, spacing out classrooms, and making sure they can use extra auxiliary space like gyms for teaching. Otherwise, administrators have mostly been preoccupied with making sure they can properly manage remote learning, rather than on figuring out any long-term changes to school layouts. So far, Shapiro hasn’t seen thermal scanners, mobile-operated elevators or HVAC systems being updated."