Back To School 2022

Under Construction and In Design Projects Highlight Modern Learning   

Since LAN opened our doors in 1965, educational facility design has gone under a dramatic shift. As architects and engineers who specialize in schools, we have not only witnessed this evolution, but have helped our clients push boundaries. For decades, LAN has been at the forefront of designing projects that complement and enable new teaching techniques and student experiences. This year, as school comes back in session, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate some of our clients who have significant and innovative projects in the works.

Mamaroneck Goes All in On Specialized Learning Spaces

Mamaroneck Central School District is making a big investment in specialized learning spaces, with a STEM Lab/Design Studio, referred to as the CoLAB, as well as a Culinary Arts Learning Lab.

Mamaroneck High School’s new Culinary Arts Lab mimics a commercial kitchen and includes a teacher’s demonstration station with a video feed that allows students to see close-up cooking techniques from monitors at one of six individual kitchen stations. Adjacent to the instructional area is a multi-purpose space that opens into the kitchen, with a large movable glass partition that allows for flexibility in expanding the instructional space.

The new state-of-the-art STEM Lab (CoLAB) includes a large Design Studio that provides an open collaboration space for group learning. It is flanked on one side by Think Tanks for breakaway learning and a Prototyping Studio on the other side. The Prototyping Studio has state-of-the-art additive and subtractive modeling equipment around the perimeter and is equipped with solo worktables for creation of “tinkering models.” Two large glass movable partitions open up to allow the Design Studio and Prototyping Lab to become one space. The Think Tanks that are along the opposite side of the Design Studio are surrounded by glass and offer a space for small group collaboration. Between the two Think Tanks is a lounge area with soft seating to provide students with flexibility in where they want to sit and do their work. As part of the CoLAB space there is also a new Wood Shop and Metal Shop equipped with the newest technology including a plasma cutter, computer numeral control (CNC) machine and other traditional wood and metal working equipment. This space will allow students multiple outlets for creation.

Coming Soon! Mamaroneck is also aiming to take learning outside the four walls of the classroom with five outdoor learning spaces spread across the district’s schools. These spaces include a courtyard, cafeteria seating, and several outdoor classrooms with abundant greenery and breakout spaces.

River Vale’s Multiyear Projects Are Well Underway

As part of a scope of work included in a $34M bond referendum, LAN designed renovations throughout River Vale’s district schools. A major focus of the project is Holdrum Middle School where LAN has designed a connecting corridor addition, a new classroom, and a wellness center. This addition features an outdoor living-learning courtyard, as well as small group counseling spaces.

The new corridors bring a much needed shortcut between hallways by replacing dead ends with the ability to flow freely between classroom wings. In the larger courtyard, the new Wellness Center opens into a large patio where lessons and activities can move from inside to out.

A Referendum in Mt. Pleasant Funds Impressive Athletics Field Upgrades

Mount Pleasant Central School District asked the community to support funding major athletic facility upgrades as part of a $9.7M referendum. LAN was retained to provide land use compliance services, civil engineering, architectural design, electrical engineering, and marketing support services to bring the project to fruition. The community approved the referendum on March 29, 2022, and the design is presently awaiting a building permit from the New York State Education Department so the competitive public bidding process can begin.

In a project that showcases the importance of modernizing athletic facilities, this project includes major site improvements to increase field playability, improve natural grass quality, and to provide more and better amenities for the athletic facilities on the property of the Westlake Middle and High School campus. The scope of work also includes the installation of two new artificial turf fields, replacement of the running track, installation of new LED athletic field lighting, construction of a new press box, installation of an irrigation system, installation of two new scoreboards, installation of a video display scoreboard and audio system. The project also includes increased broadband connectivity, accommodations for the use of food trucks during events, upgrades to the site electric & gas services, ADA accessibility improvements and the installation of significant stormwater infrastructure systems required for NYC DEP and MS4 compliance. 

Voorhees Kresson Addition Facilitates Full Day Kindergarten

In Voorhees, the final touches are being put on a kindergarten addition. LAN was retained by the Voorhees Township Board of Education to provide architecture, interior design, MEP engineering, civil engineering, environmental, and land surveying services for the 14,400 sf project. The addition includes ten new classroom spaces, corridors, and a new lobby entrance. New HVAC systems were designed that include two rooftop units to service the space. The project was built with the goal of accommodating the town’s new full day kindergarten program. 

The classrooms are each equipped with built-in storage & cubbies, LED touch screen displays, and flexible furniture to promote a modern learning curriculum. The corridors include recessed benches and pin-up space dedicated to each classroom. The lobby serves as a flexible space with large breakout areas and an outdoor learning courtyard.

Plainfield Builds Collegiate Level Field Houses

In Plainfield, LAN has two field house projects underway at the Hub Stine Sports Complex which serves the district high school. LAN is providing architecture and engineering services for both projects including a complete interior renovation to the existing 6,850 sf Upper Field House on the 25-acre Hub Stine Sports Complex. The goal is to create a collegiate level locker room setting that is fully equipped with athletic lockers, toilet and shower facilities, as well as a trainer’s room, coach’s office, and storage/laundry rooms. The new layout also includes a team gathering area for meetings, review of game film, and lounging.

The second project is a ground up rebuild of the Lower Field House that will include a new exterior gathering space with multiple seating options for spectators to congregate during events. The field house structure includes two large multi-fixture public restrooms and an office for the tennis coach, as well as athletic storage.         

Year Three of Major Referendum Work Is Underway at Florham Park

Florham Park is nearing completion on another year of new projects funded by a $24.8M bond referendum passed in 2019. This year the district worked to wrap up a series of interior renovations at Brooklake Elementary School that include a Creative Commons and Art/Robotics Lab, several small group instruction spaces, and new administrative offices.

The Creative Commons and Art/Robotics Lab were designed to embrace modern learning. The project was built with an eye towards flexibility and facilitating student collaboration, but aimed at the goals of a curriculum designed for younger students. The projects were created from several old spaces that were totally gutted and renovated. 

The new administrative offices include a new main office and a new office for the Principal. Renovations of small group instruction spaces included everything from new walls and ceilings to floor finishes. 

What We Are Seeing Across All Our K-12 Educational Projects:

Educational facility design is LAN’s biggest market. Over the past year, our architects, engineers, surveyors, and environmental professionals have worked side by side with board of education members, superintendents, teachers, and district officials in what can only be described as a surge in new construction. Districts across the tri-state area are modernizing their curricula and are making big investments to ensure their facilities can meet the demands presented by this move. The result is a trend in holistic design elements that focus on modern learning and student-centered solutions. Schools are striving to provide specialized and customizable learning spaces that prepare students for the careers of tomorrow by letting them learn in a style that suits their needs.  

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