A New School Year Starts with New and Improved Schools for LAN Clients

September 16, 2020
LAN Associates Architecture: school court yard

Amid this unprecedented time, when school districts are working against a constantly evolving situation to safely kick off the school year, LAN has had a singular purpose. As architects and engineers whose core market is K-12 education, we have dedicated our efforts to helping our partners in the school districts across the tri-state area come together and provide a safe re-opening for communities and the students they serve.

Whether that meant resuming virtual learning or in-person classes, LAN would like to thank administrators, board of education members, teachers, and everyone else who worked so diligently to find the right balance between public health measures and providing the highest possible standard of education for students. In that spirt, we would like to take a moment to highlight the continued efforts districts are making to improve student life with a summary of Back to School & On the Boards Projects.

Ho-Ho-Kus School Opens Creative Opportunity [C.O.] Lab

The Ho-Ho-Kus School in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey just finished renovating an underutilized space into a new 1,300 sf Creative Opportunity [C.O.] Lab. As the next step in STEAM education, the lab was designed to allow students to use design thinking and extend their boundaries of learning. Peer to peer collaboration is promoted through the implementation of design hubs and flexible furniture, while communication is encouraged through sketching using a wall-to-wall whiteboard space and multiple touch screen displays.

Bronxville Renovations and Additions Embrace Modern Learning Modalities and Increase Space

Bronxville School District in Westchester County, New York retained LAN Associates to provide services for capital projects funded by a first vote approved bond referendum. The goal was to renovate several instructional spaces to provide high-tech, collaborative project-based learning environments.

This included preserving and restoring neglected portions of the 100-year-old building envelope and three additions to expand the undersized cafeteria, entrance lobby and guidance suite. Additional site improvements were made, including the replacement of a playground, the addition of an artificial turf football field and resurfacing of the track. The project is still under construction, but portions are substantially complete and occupied. The outstanding sections are expected to be finished by early 2021.

Phase One of The New Ross Street Elementary School Is Complete and Phase Two Is in Full Swing

Ross Street Elementary School in Woodbridge, New Jersey is being completely rebuilt from the ground up. Split into phases to minimize student disruption, phase one of the project was recently competed.

The new three story, 87,000 sf school is centered around a large atrium courtyard that houses a small amphitheater for outdoor lessons, several “living learning” gardens, and seating areas. With full width glass windows lining the hallways, the courtyard provides natural light and a refreshing view between classes or in breakout areas. A new Creative Commons combines the aspects of a traditional media center with a makerspace, providing a large multi-use communal learning area. Classrooms, collaborative spaces, and even the hallways of Ross Street were designed to meet the evolving educational landscape of 21st century learning.

The second phase of the new Ross Street Elementary School is well underway, and includes a gymnasium, music vocal room, office conference room, and playground.

Fair Lawn Puts Finishing Touches on Two Middle Schools

As part of a $25M referendum, LAN was hired by the Fair Lawn Board of Education to design renovations and additions to Thomas Jefferson and Memorial Middle Schools.

At Thomas Jefferson Middle School, thirteen new classrooms were designed as well as a new STEAM lab, upgraded guidance offices, and a 3,000 sf cafetorium. The existing interior office space and nurse’s area were also renovated.

The additions and renovations at Memorial Middle School allowed the district to shift the fifth grades from elementary to middle school. A new STEAM Lab, nine new classrooms, a 3,500 sf Media Center, and an art room were all part of the redesign.

At both schools, LAN’s engineering team provided various MEP upgrades, including new electrical service and an emergency generator, air conditioning for an auditorium, and a new elevator that provides barrier free access to the second floor.  LAN’s Civil Engineering team also designed a new parking expansion at Memorial Middle School.

Woodbridge Middle School Wraps Up A Major Renovation and Addition  

Woodbridge Middle School hired LAN to update its one-hundred-year-old school to create a more advanced learning environment and design an integrated welcoming community center for the town’s residents. The entire project consists of a new gymnasium and locker rooms, large music classrooms, six new science rooms, a Creative Commons, production studio, as well as newly renovated classrooms.

On the southern edge of the building, LAN designed a new handicap-accessible plaza to serve as the new main entrance for all guests entering the school. A large glass vestibule was added to the existing façade, creating a beacon for community events held within the space.

Florham Park Goes All in on Capital Improvements  

As part of a referendum, Florham Park hired LAN for significant capital improvement projects that include a host of upgrades across multiple schools. At Briarwood Elementary School, a computer lab was remodeled into two classrooms and renovations were made to the multi-purpose room.  At Brooklake Elementary School, six restrooms were renovated, and HVAC controls were replaced. Both elementary schools were outfitted with a new high-performance roofing system, new energy efficient LED lighting, new ceilings, and new finish flooring throughout the buildings. Brooklake Elementary and Ridgedale Middle School had their boilers replaced with new energy efficient models.

LAN’s New Southern Office Hits the Ground Running in Haddonfield & Voorhees

LAN Associates’ new southern New Jersey office has hit the ground running, working with several local school districts on a number of projects. At Haddon and Tatem Elementary Schools in Haddonfield, New Jersey LAN is working on security vestibule installations that include improved visitor management, modernization, security enhancements, and access control. At Haddonfield Memorial High School, the team is working on a three story 330 sf addition and courtyard beautification.

At Hamilton Elementary School in Voorhees, LAN is converting an antiquated 1960’s school library into a modern media center. In the same town at Voorhees Middle School, the team is working on the conversion of two existing classrooms into a centralized guidance suite with offices, conference rooms, a de-escalation room, and waiting and resource areas.

Thanks for Your Dedication

COVID-19 may have forced us to rethink the school year, but it is clear districts are not going to let this disruption impact their long-term plans. Communities are still pushing forward with projects that will improve the student experience and provide a safe and healthy place to educate the next generation.