JHS 72Q | CATHERINE + COUNT BASIE MIDDLE SCHOOL
JHS 72Q, a Playground jointly operated by NYC Board of Education and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, was originally constructed in the 1960s to serve both the school and the adjacent Rochdale Village community. The project creates a versatile, inclusive, ADA-accessible recreational area for students during the school day, and open to the neighborhood after school hours. A brightly-colored painted musical notation extends across the pavement, inspired by the school’s prominent mural of William James "Count" Basie. The surface treatment terminates at an outdoor amphitheater for use by the school as well as community groups for classes, performances, and informal gatherings.
The design accommodates basketball and handball courts, a large multi-purpose synthetic turf area for informal play, and community-based events and activities like tai chi and yoga. A recreational running track lets students and older generations supplement cardio exercise with strength training in the nearby adult fitness area. New fencing and security lighting address safety concerns related to managing park use and increasing visibility at night. Permeable paving captures and filters stormwater runoff. Strategically located shade trees and planted areas define program spaces.