The Modular Building Institute’s May 2015 Building of the Month: Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School

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Modular Building Institute member Steel River Building Systems, Inc. worked with Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School to identify and overcome challenges to their expansion plan, using modular construction to improve the campus and remain budget conscious.

The new Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School, Newark, NJ

The new Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School, Newark, NJ

Steel River Building Systems’ Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School won First Place in the Permanent Education: 10,000 to 20,000 Square Feet category in MBI’s 2015 Awards of Distinction"

The Modular Building Institute is pleased to announce the May 2015 Building of the Month recognition goes to Steel River Building Systems’ Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School in Newark, NJ. Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School is a 468-student, kindergarten-through-8th-grade charter school that chose to utilize modular construction in the creation of their permanent home. Steel River Building Systems’ challenges included integrating a 50-year-old existing building and detached gym to create a sense of place for the school community, as well as using modular construction effectively to achieve the open spans necessary for classrooms and cafeteria space.

Lady Liberty’s new modular addition wraps around the old facilities, creating a central courtyard that serves multiple functions for the student body. The courtyard establishes an easily monitored recess space where children can safely play and are visually and acoustically removed from the surrounding residential neighborhood. The massing of the new school addition is stepped down from two- to one-story on its southern side, maximizing the light entering the courtyard and blending with the scale of the surrounding neighborhood.

To achieve the necessary open spans of classroom space, a hybrid steel-and-wood modular system was created. Steel frames create a rigid solution, allowing installation in the factory of large storefront-style windows and most of the exterior cladding. Wood infill helped keep the project within budget, as did as well as completing as much work as possible in the factory, limiting on-site cost and time. This project effectively uses a variety off-site trades including: precast concrete foundations, modular construction, and other offsite-built components, including the outdoor trellised walkway and Turf Playground.

Steel River Building Systems’ Lady Liberty Alliance Charter School won First Place in the Permanent Education: 10,000 to 20,000 Square Feet category in MBI’s 2015 Awards of Distinction, presented at their annual convention, World of Modular, held March 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada and is an excellent example of effectively using modular construction for a permanent school facility.

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About the Modular Building Institute:
Founded in 1983, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) is the only international non-profit trade association serving modular construction. Members are manufacturers, contractors, and fleet owners in two distinct segments of the industry - permanent modular construction (PMC) and relocatable buildings (RB). Our Mission: As the Voice of Commercial Modular Construction™, it is MBI's mission to expand the use of offsite construction through innovative construction practices, outreach and education to the construction community and customers, and recognition of high quality modular designs and facilities.

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Tom Hardiman
Modular Building Institute
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