Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund
University Heights Charter School

Located in the University Heights district of Newark, NJ, University Heights Charter School is seeking to expand its facilities to grow through grade 8. Now educating students in grades K-5, University Heights Charter School teamed up with the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund and KSS Architects to find the right space to create a home for their second school facility. After evaluating a variety of spaces in Newark with guidance from KSS, University Heights chose a unique location. A former car dealership from the 1940s that was most recently home to offices for telecommunications and media company Cablevision Systems Corporation, the 38,000-square-foot building is just two blocks from University Heights Charter School's current school.

KSS' design balances the preservation of historic elements of the building to retain its unique character, with modernizing and upgrading the facility to enable University Heights Charter School to develop in each student the character, scholarship and leadership to succeed in life, college and the community. The existing car showroom, an intricately decorated double-height space with large exterior windows and monumental pendant lights, was repurposed into a Library and Commons space for students. The Multipurpose Room was located within the expansive service garage, which expressed the architecture of the time with exposed iron trusses, vaulted wood roof and louvered clerestory windows.

Project Highlights
Newark, New Jersey

Program: K-8 school

Size: 38,638 sf

Features: Classrooms, Art, Computer Lab, Music Room, Library Commons, Multi-purpose room, Administrative offices