Founded in 1948, Franziska Racker Centers today serves over 3,000 people and their families at 26 sites in Tompkins, Cortland, and Tioga Counties with over 700 employees total.

A tranquil rural pasture just outside of Ithaca forms the campus setting for the Franziska Racker Centers headquarters which at that site provides preschool special education services for over 100 students and their families, and the main administrative functions of the not-for-profit with over 120 staff. The formerly fragmented two-building complex with its original 1963 elementary school and 1993 administrative building was finally unified into one cohesive whole in 2011 with HOLT's 8,500 sf addition and 25,000 sf renovations. The addition, which effectively filled the gap between the two original parts, became the heart of the organization with its new main entrance and lively Learning Center. The technologically rich Learning Center offers flexible training/gathering spaces within a pair of 120-seat and 36-seat flat-floor double-height rooms.  A large sky-lit central atrium between the training rooms provides both break-out space and frequently used reception space for community events convenient to the new glass main entrance.


HOLT led the team of planning consultants, along with Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects and Taitem Engineering, together designing an exciting new green facility which fully supports the institution's ambitious community initiatives while providing a safe and rewarding experience for child and staff development.


For more information about this project contact David H. Taube:

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