The Dalton School, one of New York’s leading private schools, consists of a four building complex on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  In the early 1990’s, the Dalton School realized that it needed to expand and upgrade many of its facilities to keep pace with contemporary teaching methods and technological demands.

Relocating its sports center to a nearby mixed-use building gave the school the space it needed to renovate and enlarge its science and art facilities, the cafeteria, faculty work areas and related support spaces.  To accomplish this project, the Dalton School commissioned a modernization master plan from its design team.  The plan proposed an ambitious phased renovation scheduled around the school’s academic calendar.

It included a complete upgrade of Dalton’s Art Center with painting, sculpture, general art and woodworking areas.  The Science Center was entirely overhauled, introducing state-of-the-art biology, chemistry and physics teaching laboratories.  The plan also called for new woodworking and teacher offices, dance studios, an architectural studio and a computer laboratory.

MEP system design included rooftop air conditioning equipment and a building wide fire alarm system were among the new systems.  Electrical service was increased, the roof-mounted gravity water tank was improved and all elevators were upgraded to include new electrical distribution and the air conditioning of the elevator machine room.

The laboratory upgrade included a packaged (glycol) chiller, fume hood exhaust, tracking VAV controls, laboratory acid waste systems and gases and multi-voltage electrical distribution.  The Art Center addition called for a separate A/C system, kiln exhaust and control systems, decorative lighting and a sprinkler system.

The kitchen and dining facility upgrade included the design of separate A/C systems, exhaust and ventilation systems, a fire protection system and flow-by systems.  Also, part of the design was the replacement of window A/C units with through-the-wall incremental A/C units.


Dalton School


Helpern Architects


150,000 SF


Mechanical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Plumbing Engineering
Fire Protection Engineering

Construction Cost

$10 Million

Completion Date



Mr. David Helpern
Helpern Architects
401 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-2025