The school district formerly consisted of eight individual community schools, which since have been abandoned. The design challenge was integrating these separate communities into one facility that serves the district’s third- and fourth-graders. This concept resulted in the formation of the eight wings of the new elementary school. Each wing represents one of the CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$119.00FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio communities. The educational program was extended so students within each wing can study and appreciate that community’s history and composition, and develop a lighthouse image to represent that community.
The facility consists of two grade structures under a school-within-a-school concept, with 24 pairs of academic classrooms and a shared computer resource room anchoring each pair. Each school has academic core facilities consisting of science labs, computer labs, and art and music rooms, and uses shared support facilities consisting of the gymnasium, media center and cafetorium.
The facility has structural-steel framework, masonry exterior/interior wall construction and terrazzo flooring at public corridors.
The 43-acre site, adjacent to the existing intermediate school for grades 5 and 6, is part of the ecologically sensitive New Jersey Pine Barrens and is near the Atlantic Ocean.
Color themes were influenced by the indigenous environment of sea and sand, resulting in a tonal character of the exterior materials and colors, including light ambers, taupes and warm/smoky grays.