By Lisa Kopochinski
TRENTON, N.J.—The New Brunswick Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts addition/renovation project has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The USGBC LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary standard that defines high- performance buildings, which are healthier, more environmentally responsible, and more efficient and sustainable structures. The high-performance features of the school qualified it for the LEED Gold certification.
“We are proud of the collaboration between the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, our design-build team and the New Brunswick School District that has resulted in the delivery of a school facility that meets the important USGBC LEED standards,” said SDA Interim CEO Manuel Da Silva.
“New Jersey’s school construction program is committed to delivering healthy, energy-efficient schools that provide effective learning environments and enhance the community and lives of students for generations.”
For this project, the SDA delivered a 60,500 square-foot, three-story addition that provided a new multi-purpose room, 30 new classrooms, four small group instruction rooms, and two basic skills/ESL classrooms. The 59,400 square-foot existing school was also renovated. A fire sprinkler system was added and renovations/rearrangements were completed in the food service area, media center, nurse’s office, main office and student services suite. Providing more than 400 additional seats with the school addition, the project benefits approximately 900 students currently in Kindergarten to 8th grade.
Hall Construction Co., Inc. was the design-builder for this $48.5 million project. As part of the design-build contract, PS&S Engineering, PC was the architect. GREYHAWK North America LLC was the construction manager.
Some of the LEED elements of this project include solar panels on the roof; an energy-efficient building envelope; a 34-percent reduction in water usage by utilizing water efficiency equipment and bathroom fixtures; reduced noise levels throughout the building, use of low-emitting materials in the construction; and use of recycled materials for the project.
“Our collective dedication to education, sustainability and smart growth yielded a beautiful 21st-century learning center for our students to learn and grow,” said New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill. “This award is an exciting acknowledgement of the efforts of the team assembled by the SDA and the New Brunswick Board of Education, Superintendent Johnson and his administrative staff.”
To ensure sustainable facility designs, SDA requires that all new schools and additions are LEED certified. SDA works closely with school districts and design consultants to achieve the highest possible level of certification based upon the unique opportunities presented by each project.