Matawan Regional High School Expansion/Retrofit

Aberdeen, New Jersey

Taking a 1960s high school and its antiquated labs and equipment into the future was only part of the challenge of this project. An $11.3 million budget was the other. The facility lacked an exterior identity, functionality and infrastructure to meet the school’s future technology needs. Innovative design was needed; the school was set “low to the street,” accentuating ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMCrabtree-RohrbaughCOST PER SQ FT$69.95FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio numerous old rooftop units.

The program dictated seven chemistry/science labs and a new program for oceanography. The school also needed additional classrooms, special-education space, SGI rooms, an overhaul of the art wing, computer labs, a kiln room, offices and a greenhouse.

The architect’s concept was to “kill three birds with one stone.” By designing a new higher neo-classic treatment, the 1960s facade was masked, and a raised/staggered roofline was created to hide those rooftop units. By adding to the front of the existing school in two areas, the renovations could be spread out, encasing new facade work at the existing school, and straddling the gym on the left and the auditorium on the right. A curved trellis, defining the existing main entry, creates a sense of space and background for signage. The planter/memorial encompasses the plaza and masks the entry, which has remained unchanged, other than the storefront replacement as a backdrop.