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N.J. middle school puts its small site to use

The school is named in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the “Beloved Community.”

January 21, 2019 |
Rendering of BelovED Middle School

Courtesy Urbahn Architects

The BelovED Community Charter School’s Middle School building recently had its topping out celebration at its half-acre parcel of land located at 535 Grand Street in Jersey City, N.J.  

The 53,000-sf building will make use of its small site and include 18 general classrooms and a variety common spaces for both students and staff. Outside the building, a parking lot with space for 29 cars and outdoor assembly/recreation space will also be included.

The building’s ground floor will include the parking lot and an entrance lobby with an elevator and a security desk. A loading dock with a 20-foot-wide overhead coiling gate will also be included on the ground floor. The second floor will cantilever over the parking lot and house a 3,600-sf cafetorium and kitchen, an office suite, a nurse’s office, classrooms, and two sets of double stairs in addition to the elevator. The third floor will include additional classrooms, a 750-sf multi-purpose room, a gymnasium, an art classroom, locker rooms, and a main distribution frame room. The fourth and final floor will house a 750-sf music room with a stepped stage for rehearsals and performances, more classrooms, a special education classroom, and a teacher’s lounge/break room.


BelovED Middle School from the sideCourtesy Urbahn Architects.


Due to the site’s low-bearing soil, Hollister Construction Services installed 150 concrete-filled, 100-foot-deep steel piles with pile caps and piers to support the foundation system of concrete grade beams and the building’s structural steel frame with lightweight concrete on galvanized composite metal deck. The building’s façade will feature Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), a non-load bearing, exterior wall cladding on steel studs, with Batt insulation. Energy efficiency will be also improved by thermally- proficient low emissivity (or low-e) windows with high visible transmittance (VT) properties that will allow increased amounts of natural light into the school’s interiors.


See Also: New Life Science Building at University of Washington designed for the next generation of research and teaching


The new school building, which will serve grades six to nine, will open in the second half of 2019 as it welcomes its first 360 students.

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