By Julie Henning
NEW YORK — At 60-stories high and a capacity of 1,400 people per 38-minute revolution, the New York Wheel will be the largest Ferris wheel in the world when it is completed in 2017. Twice as large as the London Eye, the Staten Island construction project is haled as a modern-day engineering marvel.
An attraction that will dramatically change the shape of the New York skyline, The New York Wheel is part of a billion dollar, multi-phase project that will transform Staten Island into the next major waterfront destination in the world — between three and four million visitors are expected within the first year.
Already anticipating school groups will comprise a significant portion of projected guests, the New York Wheel staff is currently working to develop significant educational components based on STEM-based curriculum and environmentally sustainable (LEED) design.
“We will have PDF-based curriculum models for schools to download in 2016,” said Travis Noyes, chief marketing officer. “Students will also be able to track the project on a day-to-day basis through two HD cameras that will stream in real time. By spring, they will be able to see the construction of the legs and rim and then the wheel will start to go up in the fall.”
Noyes said that a guided tour element will be available for large groups.
“Each capsule will hold up to forty individuals, allowing classrooms to stay together,” he said. “Within the terminal building, we’ll have designated rooms where schools can re-group and eat their lunches.”
When completed, the attraction’s green roof will have a 5,000-person capacity and will be one of the largest of its kind.
“We expect to use the green roof for special events and concerts, including band performances,” Noyes said.
Schools visiting the New York Wheel may also consider a trip to some of the nearby historic attractions on Staten Island, including the Staten Island Yankees minor league baseball stadium and the newly opened Staten Island Lighthouse Museum. Both locations are within a short walk from the site of the future Ferris wheel.
Groups may arrive on Staten Island by ferry; Staten Island Ferry admission is always free. Alternately, ample designated bus parking will be available within the main parking lot. When available, information on group rates, student pricing, and advance reservations will be published on The New York Wheel website.
For more information, call 212 235 5290 or visit newyorkwheel.com.