Construction is underway for DeWitt D. Barlow Elementary School in Plainfield, NJ. Officials celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the new addition and renovations.
With an enrollment of approximately 380 students in grades K-5, the historical school structure will undergo changes over the next few months to improve day-to-day operations and modernize student learning environments. LAN Associates, a firm with a diverse educational portfolio, have designed plans that will reconfigure the current use of the gym which serves a dual purpose being the school’s primary athletic facility, as well as the cafeteria. The new 10,000 sf addition will allow for the school to operate meal services and athletic events separately as plans include a new cafetorium and kitchen.
The new addition will offer staff proper space to prepare meals while students will have more room to enjoy their lunches and gather with classmates. Within the cafetorium will be a newly constructed stage so that the dining area can be easily transformed into an auditorium for school-wide gatherings and events.
“We look forward to utilizing our new cafetorium and gymnasium once they are complete,” said Wilson Aponte, Barlow Elementary School Principal. “These upgrades will provide for a more seamless day to day operation and ultimately create a better learning environment for our students.”
Since lunch services will be transitioned into its own separate space, design plans also include upgrades to the existing school gym. Renovations will create a larger floorplan for a more adequate space to practice athletic exercises and hold sporting events.
“The new addition will provide adequate space for Barlow’s students and staff to gather,” said Kenneth Karle, President of LAN Associates. “During design, we wanted to give each space its own identity while also ensuring that each would be flexible enough to fulfill its primary function.”
On Thursday morning, Plainfield school board members as well as other district officials and the LAN Associates design team, gathered at Barlow Elementary School to mark this milestone for the Plainfield community. As construction continues, LAN anticipates the project being completed by January 2020.