BelovED Community Charter School, Additions and Renovations
Jersey City, New Jersey
Associated Firms: Urbahn Architects PLLC (Architecture and Management), Lakhani & Jordan (MEP Engineering), Consulting Engineers Collaborative (Structural Engineering), Derosier Engineering LLC (Civil Engineering)
By 2013, BelovED had outgrown the capacity of its original 500-student school—also designed by Urbahn—and BelovED sought to expand the campus. Urbahn CAPACITY375COST PER SQ FT$224.00FEATURED IN2015 Architectural Portfolio a 22,800-square-foot addition to house general classrooms, computer, art, and music classrooms, as well as a cafeteria and a half-court gymnasium. Clad in brick and stucco, the addition reflects the scale of the surrounding downtown Jersey City neighborhood. An elevator at the juncture provides ADA access between the original building and the addition.
Originally envisioned as a two-story addition, a third floor was added during design in anticipation of future growth. Within a year the third floor was occupied.
The project was designed with Building Information Modeling. The architects developed a planning approach that could be constructed either as a stick-built structure or a modular system. Market conditions at the time of bid led to stick-built construction. Situated in the V-zone, the addition conforms to FEMA guidelines regarding floodplain management. The first floor is raised four feet above grade, and the space below is skirted with panels intended to break away, so that flood waters will pass through the space rather than transfer their force to the facade.