Bergen County Special Services Educational Facility

Paramus, New Jersey

  • FIRM

    RSC Architects

  • CLIENT

    Bergen County Special Services School District

  • AREA

    125,000 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $45,000,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    9/2015

Design team
RSC Architects, Arris Engineering, Reuther+Bowen, Neglia Engineering Associates, TTI Environmental Inc.

RSC Architects has designed a unique education and training facility that serves persons with autism—middle school and high school students, as well as adults. The Bergen County Special Services School District embarked on an ambitious plan to ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY200COST PER SQ FT$360.00FEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio its renowned countywide programs at one central site. The three-story facility was designed to meet the diverse needs of the various age groups and accommodate the administrative component of the district.
The site was organized so that the middle school, the high school, and the adult training program have their own entrances and a covered bus drop-off. A bus access loop, separate from visitor/staff parking, was incorporated to serve all entrances. A separate entrance and parking lot were also provided for the Board of Education office wing of the building. Extensive landscaping, walking paths, a patio and a basketball court were incorporated to provide students with pleasant outdoor recreation space.
Each program is situated in its own wing with wide corridors to ease student circulation. Sharing of common spaces was limited because of the variation of age groups and programs. However, the kitchen was designed to serve the middle school/high school cafeteria and the adult cafeteria. A student commons area that includes a “mock” restaurant, bank, and post office was provided as part of the life skills learning experience for middle school and high school students. The building was designed with muted colors and plenty of natural light to provide a serene, well-illuminated environment.