DMR will deliver more than $500 million in public and educational facilities this year, providing a window into a robust development cycle that is largely fueled by public sector work.
School renewal is an on-going challenge as facilities and districts contract and expand, but perhaps the most telling insights come from the expanse of challenges facing communities as they evolve and variety of redevelopment solutions that are being deployed to resolve them.
“While there are many notable downtown redevelopment stories, we are just at the beginning of a cycle that will re-create the way New Jersey lives and works,” says Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA, President & CEO. “Hundreds of municipalities are awakening to the need to update infrastructure, grow their tax base, or otherwise address activating their downtowns, and the pace of new programs will only continue to grow.”
Among the projects coming this year are:
When the Montgomery Municipal Center opens this spring, it will be a physical representation of the Township’s rich history and the result of a planning process that included the input from more than 200 residents and Montgomery Township and Somerset County Improvement Authority officials.
DMR’s planning and design teams knew that its representation of Montgomery’s identity was equally as important as the functionality of the 62,500 SF facility as the new home for municipal offices, the police department and council chambers and library.
“It is refreshing to work with a group of elected and civic leaders who take such pride in their community, and we’ve enjoyed creatively interpreting their functional and aesthetic needs,” said Pradeep Kapoor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Chief Operating Officer and Partner. “Being able to work with so many of the project’s end users made presenting the final product particularly rewarding.”
Following a feasibility study to assist the Borough of Ridgefield in site selection DMR designed a 27,000 SF municipal complex to accommodate the municipal court, council chambers, police department and borough offices. When the facility opens this spring, the new building, located in the Shaler Boulevard commercial zone, will facilitate economic development and provide proximity to the community center, as well as provide a safe facility to municipal operations, once housed in an aging facility that was often forced to close.
“Ridgefield’s governing body has long recognized that it made economic sense to develop and construct a new municipal complex rather than continuing to put tax payer money into a facility that has outlived its useful life,” said Charles H. Sarlo, General Counsel and Partner. “Our diversified expertise allows DMR to formulate targeted delivery methodologies that meet the goals and objectives of our clients.”
This September, Carteret teachers and students will move into the new Carteret Junior High School, the first new educational facility in the municipality in 40 years, the result of a successful $37 million referendum. The new school will accommodate approximately 600 seventh and eighth grade students and alleviate overcrowding through reassignment and realignment students in grades K-12.
The 60,000 square foot school will be arranged in a departmentalized environment, with 24 classrooms, enhanced art and music education spaces, a think tank and a STEM lab.
“We’re working with municipalities that recognize upgrades to facilities that improve quality of life for its current residents is a critical first step to placemaking initiatives designed to attract new residents, visitors and economic opportunities,” said Kurt Vierheilig, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Design and Partner. “We anticipate seeing more and more municipalities reviewing their administrative, law enforcement and educational needs to ensure that they can serve the people that choose to live there with the most forward-thinking options while still remembering the importance of meaningful gathering spaces.”