Benedict A. Cucinella Elementary School
Long Valley, NJ
Since being completed, the $18 million, 105,000 SF Benedict A. Cucinella School has become the centerpiece of the Washington Township School District. The need for the new grades Pre-K through 5 Elementary School - the district’s third elementary school -- grew from tremendous population growth leading to a reorganization plan.
A large canopy reaches out and welcomes students into the brightly colored school. Thirty-six vibrant classrooms featuring primary colors are laid out along a central spine that acts as the building’s primary gathering space and the “heart” of the school. Classrooms and ancillary spaces are reached through secondary corridors with the organization of the spaces falling into two categories: a “quiet/study” zone, which houses classrooms, the media center, and administrative areas, and an “active” zone where noise-generating areas such as the multipurpose room, gymnasium, and music rooms are located. With specialized electronic security in place, the community may utilize portions of the school, such as the multi-purpose room, gymnasium, and media center after hours.
The insightful design allows for maximum daylight to spill into the classrooms and also includes a central courtyard that serves as an outdoor classroom. LEED design principles were applied to this “green” school, such as the use of recyclable materials, high efficiency boilers, individual classroom controls for heating and cooling, and the utilization of an energy management system for the entire building.
Long Valley, NJ