|May 3, 2013|
Planet Princeton with more detail:
Princeton University, which has a $17 billion endowment, is slated to receive $6.4 million. About $3.2 million will help fund construction of the new Andlinger Center. The center supports research on sustainable energy development and the environment. The other $3.2 million will fund the renovation of the former Frick Laboratory at 20 Washington Road. The 200,000-square-foot, renovated Frick will house the University's economics department and also provide space for some of the University's international initiatives.
Rider University is slated to receive $4.6 million for a new academic building on the Westminster Choir College campus in Princeton. The 11,790-square-foot building will include a recital and rehearsal room. a lobby ticket booth, and multimedia classrooms.
|April 29, 2013|
The Public Library is looking for a home of its own.
After many years of keeping comfortable company with Cranbury School, the library has decided the time has come to part ways with its longtime neighbor and find its own space in the world.
The Cranbury Public Library Foundation thanked supporters for helping it "give Cranbury the library it deserves" and asked for their continued support at its 2013 Capital Campaign Kickoff on Sunday at Teddy's Restaurant.
The foundation is the capital-raising arm of the Cranbury Public Library, which hopes to have a new home by 2015, according to the organization's website.
The champagne flowed and hors d'oeuvres circulated as members of the Capital Campaign Committee mixed with library supporters and local and state political figures, including Cranbury Mayor Glenn Johnson and state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-14.
According to library board President Kirstie Venanzi, the foundation has raised $1.2 million so far - one third of the total amount needed.
|April 18, 2013|
Mayva Donnon, AIA, LEED AP, an associate and member of the firm's K-12 design team, recently moderated a panel discussion for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. "On Campus with Independent/Charter Schools" provided attendees with an in-depth look at the state of charter and independent schools in the Philadelphia region. Schools, architects and developers shared insight on current development issues and upcoming K-12 school trends.
Speakers included: Matt Bartner, AIA, LEED AP, Kitchen & Associates; Steven H. Gendler, founding principal, MIS Capital LLC; Michael Gersie, director of operations, George School; and John Swoyer, CEO, MaST Communtiy Charter School.
Discussion began with a look at design and pedagogy, where the group examined how evolutionary changes in education are being manifested in the design and operation of schools. Panelists then moved on to development and construction. Conversation covered what the "pre-development" stage of a project looks like, how vision is shaped, what potential stumbling blocks may be, as well as financing options. Last, speakers touched upon the role charter and independent schools play in redeveloping Philadelphia.
|April 17, 2013|
Merilee Meacock, AIA, recently teamed up with Josh Mann, of Budd Larnar, P.C. and Ian Mount, a principal at Charter Educational Development, LLC to present "Updates from the Front Lines: The Latest in Facilities Design, Approvals and Construction" at the New Jersey Charter School Association's 2013 conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
As local government and land use boards become ever more sophisticated in their review and scrutiny of charter school land use applications, this session aimed to provide attendees with insight on how to design practical facilities that are financeable and have a high chance of approval from local government.
An expert in the design of charter schools in New Jersey, New York and the greater Philadelphia region, Merilee shared information on current charter school trends and the impact on design. Some trends include the incorporation of gardens and culinary programs in school curricula; a push to seek out shared resources – such as the town library, local parks, athletic facilities, fitness centers, etc.; partnering with institutions of higher education; finding new ways to become a part of the fabric of the community, like providing health clinics, employment training, and other services for parents and adults; tutoring and online learning; and greater involvement in urban mixed use development.
Citing KSS' own work designing three charter schools and a daycare in Teachers Village, a live-work mixed used development for educators spanning eight blocks in downtown Newark, New Jersey, Merilee pointed out that charter schools play a vital role in urban revitalization.
"Charter schools are becoming valuable tenants within the framework of larger developments," she said. "In urban redevelopment zones where cites are building entirely new communities, charter schools are considered more viable tenants than retail and office due to their stability and community impact."
|April 12, 2013|
Prologis Pulaski Distribution Center continues to make headlines. Check out reporter Josh Burd's coverage in NJBiz:
The smoke that once billowed from underground chemical fires and wreaked havoc on the Pulaski Skyway was not enough to discourage Prologis Inc. in 2005, when it first moved to buy a large piece of a former landfill in Jersey City.
So it should be no surprise that the company endured a complex environmental cleanup and secured a key zoning change by 2008, making way for what will become one the region's largest new industrial facilities.
"Fast forward, and here we are today," said Jay Cornforth, president of the east region of Prologis. "We're under construction and we've got two tenants, but it was a tremendous amount of work in that three-year period to even get us to that point."
The company was slated to officially break ground today at the future Pulaski Distribution Center, a facility along the Hackensack River that will have nearly 900,000 square feet of space. And it's celebrating the milestone with two major tenants firmly in hand, Peapod, a subsidiary of food retailer Ahold USA, and Imperial Bag & Paper Co. - both thanks to two of New Jersey's most important business incentive programs.
The project, which is expected to be complete in spring 2014, will give new life to the former Superfund site. But KSS Architects partner Edmund P. Klimek, whose firm designed the facility, said it also represents the ongoing return of industrial facilities to urban areas like Jersey City.
"For so long, industrial development had been thought of happening as kind of remote areas in green fields," said Klimek, whose firm is based in Princeton. "And now what we're doing with this and similar projects is bringing industrial development back into the urban context."
|April 10, 2013|
Prologis, Inc. celebrated a kick-off to construction for a former New Jersey landfill site into a LEED Certified logistics property. Imperial Bag & Paper Company, a wholesale packaging distributer, will occupy 395,000 square feet while Ahold Inc. and Peapod, ecommerce food retailers, will occupy 345,000 square feet. An additional 140,000 square feet of speculative space will also be developed. Pulaski Distribution Center is strategically located four miles from the Port of New York/ New Jersey and approximately three miles from New York City and the New Jersey Turnpike.
Extensive environmental clean-up work has been completed at the site under the supervision of state and federal regulatory agencies. Since acquiring the 50-acre site in 2008, Prologis has worked in close partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to implement a development plan that returns the site to productive use and will result in permanent capping and closure of the landfill. Once fully developed, the property will include a LEED Certified, 880,000-square-foot logistics facility with the remaining land returned to green space.
"This is an important development project for Jersey City that will transform this former waste disposal site, help to advance economic conditions, and improve the local community," said Edmund Klimek, AIA, partner at KSS Architects.
"By identifying strategically-located properties, applying our brownfield development and redevelopment expertise, and bringing Class-A facilities to market, we are able to offer our customers a key location in northern New Jersey, one of the most dynamic and land-constrained infill areas in the U.S.," added Jay Cornforth, president East Region, Prologis Americas.
Employing one of the first applications of Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC) technology in the United States for a distribution center, the new warehouse facility is forging new ground for structural design. An alternative to a more traditional pile-supported foundation system, CMC reinforces soil by drilling with a hollow auger and creating a cement-based column through the auger. For a site like this one where the soil could shift as the capped former landfill decomposes, CMC offers a stabile, cost-effective building solution that is quiet to install and neighbor friendly. Combined with an active ventilation system to remove underground methane and escaping gases, the Prologis Pulaski Distribution Center's design responds to the site's unique environmental challenges.
Wednesday's event featured a bevy of high-profile speakers, all recognizing the project's environmental and economic benefits.
Read our Press Release.
Check out coverage in the Wall Street Journal.
|April 8, 2013|
Burlington Coat Factory's new Corporate Headquarters. Following the groundbreaking for the 215,000-square-foot office building on April 5, the Burlington County Times picked up the story in its Sunday edition. Here's a quick look at reporter David Levinsky's coverage:
FLORENCE - Burlington Coat Factories executives and state lawmakers wielded golden shovels Friday as they broke ground on a new 215,000-square-foot corporate headquarters to rise next to the retailer's current building and warehouse off Route 130.
But the real work occurred months earlier when state officials negotiated a deal to award the company more than $40 million in tax credits over the next ten years in return for its pledge to stay in Burlington County rather than move to a proposed site in Bensalem, Pa.
Without the incentive package, officials said the groundbreaking would have occurred out of state rather than on the 50-acre plot in Florence.
"What you see here could have happened today in Pennsylvania but for the bipartisan support for business incentive programs in New Jersey," acting Gov. Kim Guadagno said Friday at the onset of the ceremony.
|April 5, 2013|
Burlington Coat Factory executives, local officials, and state political leaders to kick-off construction for Burlington Coat Factory's new 215,000-square-foot Corporate Headquarters with a groundbreaking celebration on April 5. A leading national off-price retailer with more than 500 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico, Burlington is proud to remain in their home state of New Jersey.
"This is an exciting day for Burlington Coat Factory. I would like to thank Governor Christie, Acting Governor Guadagno and the State of New Jersey for making it possible to maintain and grow our corporate headquarters within the state," said Burlington Coat Factory President and CEO Thomas Kingsbury. "I would also like to thank Florence Township Mayor Craig Wilkie and the Florence Township officials for their contributions and support."
The new multi-tier Headquarters will feature an open and collaborative office layout, as well as a fitness center, conference space, a large multi-purpose training area, outdoor meeting and lunch space, and café.
Made possible in part through a $40 million Grow NJ grant awarded to Burlington Coat Factory by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Headquarters is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014.
Read our Press Release or check out coverage in the Times of Trenton and NJBiz to learn more.
|March 29, 2013|
Michael Shatken, AIA, LEED AP; Director of Sustainable Design Andrew Tucker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Communications Director Gwen McNamara; and Marketing Coordinator Alexis Baran, joined Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and top level City and environmental leaders to unveil the City of Newark's Sustainability Action Plan on March 28.
The event celebrated the launch of the city-wide plan to make Newark healthier, greener, and more vibrant. Based on several years of community-driven planning, the Newark Sustainability Action Plan lays out a policy framework to improve public health, enhance quality of life, reduce costs, and expand job and business opportunity for Newarkers. The Plan commits the City and its partners to actions in six key categories: air quality, energy, recycling and materials management, stormwater management and community greening, greenhouse gas emissions, and healthy food access.
"I see sustainability action plans come across my desk every week and usually by page 10, I'm falling asleep," said Judith Enck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator. "Not this plan. Not only does it make a tremendous commitment to environmental sustainability, but it also places high priority on protecting public health and environmental justice. The plan you see before you is a model for other cities. What happens in Newark will be closely watched."
"This plan is a challenge, an urgent call to action," said Mayor Booker. "We've got to get so much better. Our city has an environmental crisis on its hands. Our children should be able to swim in the Passaic River and not be exposed to toxins. Our children deserve to live in a place that is not a degree or two hotter than the rest of the nation. Our children should not have to fight obesity and have access to healthy food calories that are not nutrition empty. With this plan, generations yet unborn will be able to live in a healthier Newark."
Other dignitaries in attendance included Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Adam Zipkin, Newark Municipal Council members, Newark Environmental Commission Chair Kim Gaddy, Sustainability Director Stephanie Greenwood, and Brick City Development Corporation CEO Lyneir Richardson.
KSS led the consultant team that helped prepare the Sustainability Action Plan. In association with Steven Winter Associates and Langan Engineering, the team provided research, conducted interviews, assisted with public outreach, and prepared written material for inclusion in the plan. KSS also provided editing support and graphic design of the final plan.
Download the Sustainability Action Plan.
|March 28, 2013|
2013 Smart Growth Awards. Teachers Village, a dynamic educational mixed use development in Newark, New Jersey, made the cut from a pool of 23 entries.
KSS Architects is working with Teachers Village's developer and planner to design a mixed use residential building, a daycare, and three charter schools in the development. Serving the Pre-K, K-4, 5-8, and K-8 populations, the schools will be located in two four-story mixed-use buildings with retail space on the public ground floor. The project has presented equally novel and interesting design challenges, such as the creation of a secure and safe "front yard" presence for students and parents in the active urban dynamic. The design team also must work with city street constraints to coordinate busing and parent drop-off needs.
Read more about Teachers Village or view the full list of the Smart Growth Award winners.
|March 26, 2013|
Coca-Cola Refreshments Distribution Center for Forsgate Industrial Partners in South Brunswick, New Jersey continues to make headlines. Check out coverage by Development magazine, NAIOP's quarterly publication, featuring a case study on sustainable distribution center design authored by KSS Partner Edmund Klimek, AIA, and Principal Scot Murdoch, AIA. Here's a look at just some of the article:
Over the last decade sustainable design has gone from catchphrase to prerequisite for property and building owners across the country. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system has effectively promoted sustainability across the office, educational, and municipal landscapes. But for warehouse and distribution centers, implementation has been more challenging.
Without an office LEED rating system tailored for warehouse and distribution centers, industrial developers had to adapt LEED models for other product types to meet rising marketplace demands for sustainable design. While daunting, to date such adaptation has proven successful, as evidenced by innovative projects like the LEED Silver certified Coca-Cola Refreshments Distribution Center in South Brunswick, NJ, designed by KSS Architects for Forsgate Industrial Partners.
|March 20, 2013|
David Zaiser, AIA, lends his expertise in the latest issue of Education Week as reporter Katie Ash covers how the use of digital technology in the classroom is changing the way learning environments and schools are designed. Here's a look at some of the article:
As school districts plan and design new buildings, a philosophical shift in how learning environments look is happening, fueled largely by technological advancements and a belief that classrooms should be more interactive and mirror the workplaces of today and the future. That new look puts a high priority on small-group work, use of mobile devices, and project-based digital learning.
Even though not all districts are constructing new buildings, experts say many of the same principles can be applied to existing buildings. …
"The current challenge is that we're seeing and pushing schools to move away from the kind of classic, spreadsheet layout, particularly when you get into the higher grades," says David M. Zaiser, a partner at KSS Architects, who manages the company's Philadelphia office. "The classroom environment is supposed to be about interaction."
|March 1, 2013|
The Westminster Symphonic Choir performs with orchestras from across the globe, led by internationally acclaimed conductors. But the 220-member choral ensemble, among the jewels of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, rehearses in a cramped space known as The Playhouse, with less-than-ideal acoustics.
Thanks to an expansion plan projected to begin in July, the Choir and other students at Westminster's Princeton campus will soon be preparing for performances in a newly renovated and constructed facility. Officials from Westminster and Rider described the proposal during a courtesy review by the Planning Board at its meeting last Thursday, February 21.
In addition to a renovation of the Playhouse, the plan for the 18.75-acre Princeton campus includes a new academic building, a general services building, some reconfigured parking, new walkways, landscaping, and lighting. Officials hope to have the improvements completed in time for the fall semester of 2014.
Architect Michael Shatken of KSS Architects said the new construction will take its design cue from the existing campus. "Williamson Hall heavily influenced how the new buildings will look," he said, praising the "Georgian quadrangle and wonderful campus plan."
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