The Renovation

With this renovation, GJA will create a space specifically designed for our boys: rooms where curiosity can thrive, academics can go beyond books and emotional growth is nurtured. Our existing 12,000-foot space, a former Catholic school, will be reinvented as a home for collaboration, scholarship and expression. The school has not been renovated since long before GJA took it over in 2003, creating an opportunity for sweeping changes.

The renovation will change the look of the building and create new and convertible spaces. In the renovation GJA will gain a performing arts studio, classrooms that can be made larger or smaller based on capacity, a room specifically for counseling services and expanded spaces for alumni meetings and events. All of this is designed to serve the GJA community, now 15 years strong.

Renovation Highlights

Photo: Shana Schnur Photography,LLC

GJA’s mission is to serve bright boys from low-income families, allowing them the freedom to express their intelligence in an engaging academic setting. The results speak for themselves: our boys excel as writers and artists, engineers and mathematicians. Graduates tell us their GJA education prepared them for 9th grade at the most rigorous high schools in the nation. A conversation with a GJA student will tell you the same: he is articulate and engaging, thoughtful and insightful, an original thinker who knows what’s going on in the world.

The renovation will encourage group work by creating flexible spaces, encourage free thinking with interactive walls, and enhance the use of technology with updated electrical systems and technology storage.


GJA leaders and students knew about social-emotional learning before many schools realized how important it is for young men to have a balance of emotional self-knowledge to go along with their training in other areas. Since its founding, GJA students have referred to one another as “brothers”. GJA’s programs have always included a deep commitment to healthy friendships and connections, with ample support to help students connect and address stresses that get in the way of their learning and their thriving. We partner with NYU to provide social work and counseling support to any student who needs it, and engage every boy in small group ‘talk time’ to model healthy connections. These efforts have been lauded in national press, which continues to feature GJA as a model for boys’ education done well.

Our new building will create a dedicated space for counseling for the first time in our history.


GJA’s arts program demonstrates the school’s deep belief that artists make creative leaders and insightful scholars; that images express what words cannot; that artistic learning builds young brains. All GJA students receive training in band, dance and studio art. The renovation will ensure that the arts have dedicated spaces at GJA, to showcase and enhance existing curriculum.

The renovation will create dedicated art spaces – a music room for practice and small group lessons in partnership with Juilliard School, and a space for American Ballet Theatre-led dance performances.

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Be a visible sponsor of GJA’s renovation by taking advantage of one of our many naming opportunities. These opportunities are a wonderful way to honor a loved one, a teacher who inspired you or a student in your life. They offer a lasting legacy and a chance to have a lasting impact on this school and its hardworking, talented boys. 

To learn more about opportunities or to discuss naming options please call Sara Murphy, Director of Development at 917-855-8455 or email

The project begins summer 2018 and continues during the 2018-2019 school year, with the summer renovation focused on interior work including classrooms, labs, library and bathrooms.

Karen Frome of Rise Projects is the lead architect on the project, with construction contractors DHI Construction Services.

The projected renovation cost is $2,000,000; GJA Trustees donated more than one-third of the total in the first weeks of the campaign.