NORTHERN BURLINGTON Columbus, New Jersey
COUNTY REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Culminating a process started around 2000, this project completed a long-term vision for a unique 7th-12th grade school district. Following the completion of their new middle school in 2003, the old middle school would become part of a multi-building high school campus, providing space needed at the time for an expanding population and program. However, this now required high school students to traverse between two independent buildings several times daily, exposed to weather, and safety concerns.
Over the next 15 years, the vision continued to develop to address health, safety & security; core infrastructure; and academics. Safety & security was undertaken by connecting the two main high school buildings, therefore eliminating the need for students to go outside to cross between the them. A new large addition was designed to do just that, and more. It houses new centrally located administrative offices with a new main entrance and visitor screening vestibule. Health was improved with the upgrade of all HVAC systems, campus-wide, as well as the addition of a new health & training center. Turning attention to core infrastructure, the additions also provided the opportunity to centralize and enhance many core facilities. A new library media center and cafeteria, along with the administrative suite, are connected to each other and the rest of the campus via an expansive double height lobby. Electrical, utility, communication and data systems were also upgraded, campus-wide.
Academics are uncommon in this school district, which not only serves the adjacent Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, but also a vast agriculture community; and enrollment was increasing. Programs such as Business, Industrial Design, Agricultural Mechanics, Graphic Design, Welding, Floral Design and Agricultural Biology are not often found in the average high school, but are important expanding programs here. More additions, and campus-wide alterations & renovations created academic “houses” for the unique and traditional subjects.
Beyond the building itself, the program also necessitated construction of a new state-of-the-art greenhouse, with adjacent exterior areas for planting crops and maintaining animals; as well as a new tractor garage. Other site improvements include new parking lots and bus queuing loop with enhanced site lighting.
Photo Credits: Matt Wargo Photography