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January 27, 2023

By Molly Alpern, Assistant Director for Advancement Communications

When students returned to the Ethical Culture campus in September 2022, they were welcomed back to bright, fully renovated classrooms on the fifth floor, and three months later in December, a newly designed cafeteria in the basement was unveiled. The completion of these updates marks the culmination of the second phase of a three-phase renovation on the historic Central Park West building. 

The fifth floor renovation creates an opportunity for enhanced interdisciplinary programs for the 3rd–5th Grade by moving all the special classes to one floor, allowing for greater collaboration and learning across subjects. State-of-the-art classrooms with moveable walls, audio-visual technology integration, and increased space and storage are some of the highlights that students and faculty alike are most excited about. In the basement, an updated and air conditioned cafeteria and kitchen serves as the main gathering place for our youngest students, and the new, bright space is also already being used for myriad after school activities and as a meeting space for students, faculty, and other members of the ECFS community.

Our students and faculty shared more about the impact of the new classrooms and cafeteria in this video. 

The first phase of the Ethical Culture building renovation, completed in 2019, reimagined spaces and classrooms for Pre-K–2nd Grade students and created a new faculty lounge. The third and final phase will focus on an updated sixth floor cafeteria for the upper grades, an expanded gymnasium, and the installation of a central air conditioning system for the entire building. ECFS will share more about the timing of the final phase later in the year.

These updates were only possible with the generous support of the donors to the Advancing Our Mission Capital Campaign. Thank you to everyone who helped ECFS make these exciting changes that will impact students at Ethical Culture for many years to come!