Union County Vocational Technical Schools
LOCATION: SCOTCH PLAINS, NEW JERSEY
Between 2013 and 2017, Netta Architects was the chief architectural firm overseeing multiple projects in partnership with Union County Vocational Technical Schools.
Vocational schooling is unique; it offers millions of young students across the country the opportunity to take curated classes on specific job industries and trade careers. Students receive not just a focused education that includes industry-specific math and English classes necessary to prepare them for college, but also hands-on experience with tools, clientele, and real world problems.
With such a unique approach to education than standard public schooling, designing the new halls for Union County VOTECH meant creating a workspace where students and teachers could collaborate together, learning through experience.
Over the course of the five-year project, Netta Architects designed an exterior bridge connecting two wings of the campus, created a student lounge and renovated dozens of classrooms to enhance the learning environment.
We modernized the elevator and shaft to include new cab finishes, door components, hydraulic equipment; ADA upgrades and fire alarm integration – completing the project on time and on budget while only working during student recess.
We repurposed an existing Electronic Media Center within Mancuso Hall, transforming it into a collaborative new, tri-zone multipurpose center; a Makerspace workshop, an Equipment space, and a Media Space. This dynamic space provides students with multiple zones that facilitate the flow of creativity. The student’s work and creativity can become fluid; bounding naturally from conceptualizing ideas directly to hands-on activities without interruption or distraction.
Finally, in completing the 38,000 square foot West Hall Science Building – a brand new addition to the campus – our partnership delivered a new, state-of-the-art curriculum, featuring industry-leading chemistry, biology and physics laboratories along with classrooms, computer labs, a fitness center, and associated administrative support spaces.