John Walker Middle School

Nutley, New Jersey

This federal-style school building needed upgrades and new space to accommodate its curriculum. The school board commissioned the architect to upgrade all building systems, and add space for a new gymnasium, cafeteria, media center, specialty classrooms, a service area and administrative offices for the board of education.

With a site completely maxed out, the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$154.00FEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers was faced with the challenge of carving new space for the media center within the existing building’s envelope. The architect divided the original gymnasium horizontally by building a new floor slab 14 feet above the floor level. The basketball court then was transformed into a new cafeteria and central kitchen for the district.

A state-of-the-art media center found its home on the new second floor. The original roof was replaced with a new curved wood deck, exposing the steel structure. The higher section of the roof allows natural, diffused light into the new media center. Lighting controls harvest daylight, and the HVAC infrastructure integrates seamlessly into the architecture.