A Brooklyn charter school has unveiled plans for a new seven-acre campus at the historic Floyd Bennett Field in Southern Brooklyn designated for experiential learning, where students will receive hands-on experience about socioeconomic issues and gain the skills necessary to succeed in future career paths.
Brooklyn’s Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School (Launch), which will open in 2026, will be located at Floyd Bennett Field, New York City’s first municipal airport, and will feature a modernized central building, three acre farm and outdoor classroom, a greenhouse, community amphitheater, sports centers and more.
Floyd Bennett Field was originally constructed in 1931, designed to accommodate the increasing number of air traffic away from Newark Airport to New York City. The field now includes over 1,300 acres of saltmarshes, grasslands, tidal mudflats as well as a marina and former airfield, making the location perfect for the new school’s planned outdoor classroom.
Developed with SCAPE Landscaping Architecture, Colloqate, Architecture Research Office and Launch’s non-profit partners, the new high school, Launch at Floyd Bennett Field, promises to feature world-class facilities for students to learn and explore and learn about potential solutions for climate change, systemic racism and food injustice.
“Launch at Floyd Bennett Field is an unprecedented opportunity to build a world-class educational ecosystem for communities that have historically been denied access to such resources,” said Geoffrey Roehm, Executive Director of The Launch School in a statement May 5. “Alongside our partner organizations, we look forward to providing learning experiences that prepare students and community members for green jobs and empower them to build a better world.”
To provide students with a robust and well-rounded education, Launch has partnered with a multitude of local community organizations — including Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, New York Sun Works, Billion Oyster Project, Solar One, NYC Outward Bound Schools, Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, The Campaign Against Hunger, EL Education, Transcend Education and Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay.
These organizations will ensure that students are exposed to diverse educational experiences with programs including marine biology, career training in solar energy, sustainable agriculture, African dance and more.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently backed charter schools despite some public criticism that allege that charter schools take money away from public schools, and discourage enrollment for students with academic or behavioral struggles in order to maintain a higher rate of success and graduation.
However, the negotiations around the state budget have reportedly included an allowed expansion of charter schools in the city, and some elected officials applauded Launch’s expansion, saying the school would offer opportunities to many young students and encourage them academically.
“I am certain the innovative campus of the Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School located at the historic Floyd Bennett Field will be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility which will help inspire generations young Brooklynites to pursue their academic dreams and achieve to the highest levels right here in District 46,” said Council Member, Mercedes Narcisse. “I look forward to welcoming the inaugural class in 2026.”
Launch has operated a middle school located in Bedford-Stuyvesant since 2012 — a community that historically hasn’t had many of the opportunities that lead to careers in green jobs.
In order to make these opportunities more accessible, Launch is in the process of fundraising to ensure students across Brooklyn can experience the transformative experiences planned for Floyd Bennett Field and to engage in education that leads to successful careers in climate jobs.
“As a working parent in Bedford-Stuyvesant, it’s been incredible to collaborate with a local school taking on big societal issues with such heart, tenacity, and dedication to its students’ futures,” said Alexis C. Landes, Managing Principal of SCAPE. “Working alongside our stellar design team and the Launch community has been a true meeting of the minds — with reflections I know will reverberate throughout our studio for many years to come.”
To learn more about Launch Floyd Bennett Field visit their website at www.launchschool.org.