On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, LAN Associates joined Voorhees Township School District board members, administrators, local officials, students, teachers, and members of the community to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new Early Childhood Addition at Kresson Elementary School.
The addition was designed to support the District’s full-day kindergarten and pre-school programs. The new 14,400 sq. ft. addition broke ground in July 2021 and opened for the start of school in September 2022. In October 2022, as a result of being approved for Preschool Expansion Aid, the District implemented its full-day pre-school program.
The $4.5M project was designed to embrace modern learning and includes ten new, and five newly renovated, classrooms to support their full-day Kindergarten and full-day Pre-K curriculum. Adaptability, flexibility, and technology are key design components, with flexible furniture enabling teachers to rearrange classrooms to meet curriculum requirements. The addition incorporates a multi-use lobby that doubles as a collaborative learning area, and corridors include recessed benches for student break-out and pin-up space dedicated to each classroom. A mixture of efficient and decorative ‘tunable white’ LED fixtures set on scene dimming allows teachers to control lighting output in response to both student activity and circadian rhythms.
“We wanted to ensure that students who start their academic journey in Voorhees, get started on the right foot,” said LAN Assistant Vice President Ron Schwenke. LAN Associate Jeff Potter who served as Architect, Project Manager, and Construction Administrator, added “To that end, we designed a true modern learning environment that responds to student wellness and recent changes in learning modalities, providing teachers the tools and flexibility needed to fit the needs of their students.”
To promote student wellness, a new outdoor learning courtyard was designed to be used as a student break-out area and de-escalation space. Interior corridors offer views of the space, which features drought tolerant plantings, rock gardens, hardscape seating areas and pathways. The courtyard, in turn, provides abundant daylighting to the adjacent interior. Safety and security features are interwoven throughout the addition through environmental design strategies that maximize passive security without creating a sense of alarm.
“Completing a building project in the midst of construction related supply chain issues has the potential to create a lot of challenges. By working together and having constant communication with LAN while building a great rapport with the general contractor, we were able to change direction when needed and have the building ready in time for the start of the new school year. We are very pleased with the outcome, and it is a beautiful building. It was so rewarding to see the students and teachers in their new classrooms,” said Helen Haley, Business Administrator.
LAN’s full-service team was retained by the Voorhees Township Board of Education to provide architecture, interior design, MEP engineering, environmental engineering, construction administration and land surveying services for the project which was led by LAN’s southern New Jersey office in Voorhees, NJ. LAN utilized Environmental Resolutions, Inc. for Civil Engineering and Baker Ingram Associates for structural engineering. Duall Building Restoration, Inc. was awarded the construction contract.