Donald M. Payne Sr. School of Technology

Newark, New Jersey


Di Cara Rubino Architects


Essex County School of Technology


325,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design team: Germano R. Rubino, AIA (Project Principal); Roderick Watkins, AIA (Senior Project Manager); Allison Sroka, AIA (Project Architect); Peter Mandic (Job Captain); April Leddy, CID (Interior Designer); Robert Iamello, AIA (Senior Construction Administrator); Natalia Arciszewski (Project Designer); Christopher Goffredo (Project Designer)

The Donald M. Payne Sr. School of Technology in Newark, N.J., was designed in direct response to a new paradigm for career technical education (CTE) in Essex County, N.J. Named for the late U.S. Congressman and tireless advocate of human rights and education, the state-of-the-art learning facility is anchoring redevelopment in the city’s West Ward. Many of the programs available at the school serve as stepping stones for curricula being offered at nearby colleges and universities.
The school accommodates up to 1,400 students, and boasts 58 traditional academic classrooms and labs, as well as more than 30 CTE spaces for culinary arts, cyber security, cosmetology, music production, forensic sciences, and other fields of study. A large building trades section offers specialized teaching rooms and areas for demonstration and fabrication. The school even has a greenhouse and rooftop garden, as well as a mock courtroom for those studying law and public safety.
Hues of orange, green, and purple liven up the numerous common areas, which include an expansive cafeteria, media center, gymnasium, and an 800-seat auditorium. A synthetic grass field atop the parking garage offers an outdoor retreat for students.
The project is seeking LEED Silver certification.

Additional Information



Cost per Sq Ft


Featured in

2018 Architectural Portfolio

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Shaw
Carpet by Interface
Flooring by Johnsonite
Flooring by Azrock
Flooring by Burke Flooring
Flooring by Forbo Flooring Systems
Flooring by Shaw
Physical-Education Flooring by Tarkett USA
Brick/Masonry by Interstate Brick
Brick/Masonry by Glen-Gery
Cabinets by Stevens Industries
Cabinets by Leonard Peterson & Co
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Movable Partitions/Walls by Hufcor
Paint/Wallcoverings by Sherwin-Williams
Plumbing by Eemax
Plumbing by Zurn
Plumbing by Elkay
Skylights by Kalwall
Windows by EFCO
Lighting & Accessories by Finelite
Emergency Lighting by Kenall Lighting
Fire/Life-Safety Systems by Edwards Systems Technologies
Security Systems by Panasonic
Security Systems by Viking Corp.
Locks by Schlage
Auditorium/Assembly Furniture by Irwin Seating
Computer Furniture by KI
Library/Media Center Furniture by Hi-5
Library/Media Center Furniture by Keilhauer
Library/Media Center Furniture by Highmark
Library/Media Center Furniture by Arcadia
Library/Media Center Furniture by Arnold
Library/Media Center Furniture by Montel
Lounge Furniture by KI
Multipurpose Areas Furniture by KI
Office Furniture by KI
Science Furniture by Campbell Rhea
Science Furniture by Institutional Products
Lockers by Lincora
Whiteboards / Markerboards / Chalkboards by Claridge
Waste Receptacles by Rubbermaid
Wire Management by Panduit
Ceramic Tile by NEMO
Ceramic Tile by American Olean
Doors by Curries
Doors by Eggers
Elevators by ThyssenKrupp Access
Insulation by Dow
Insulation by Johns Manville
Plumbing by Watts
Plumbing by AO Smith
Roofing by Firestone Building Products
Plumbing by Murdock
Bleachers/Grandstands by Interkal
Cafeteria Furniture by KI
Scoreboards/Clocks by Fair-Play Scoreboards
Classroom Furniture by KI
Computers by Dell
Communications Systems by Cisco Systems
Communications Systems by Bogen Communications
Communications Systems by Epson
Clocks/Time Management by Bogen Communications
HVAC Units by Trane
HVAC Units by Daikin
HVAC Units by Valent
HVAC Units by Captive-Aire
HVAC Units by Runtal
HVAC Units by Poolpak
HVAC Control Devices by Schneider Electric
HVAC Control Devices by Kele
HVAC Control Devices by EBTRON
ADA/Compliance Equipment by LCN Closers
Card Systems by SELUX
Draperies/Blinds by Bali
Draperies/Blinds by Draper
Kitchen Equipment by EMI Industries
Kitchen Equipment by Globe Tray
Kitchen Equipment by Southbend
Kitchen Equipment by Continental
Kitchen Equipment by Nor-Lake
Drinking Fountains by Murdock
Hand-Drying Equipment by American Specialties
Washroom Accessories by American Specialties
Washroom Fixtures by Zurn
Washroom/Shower Partitions by American Specialties
Athletic Equipment by Porter Athletic Equipment
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