$150M High Tech High School Opens in Secaucus

Photo Credit: Kate Glicksberg

Hudson County’s newest High Tech High School is open. Set on the 20-acre Frank J. Gargiulo Campus, the new $150 million facility will educate nearly 2,000 students in more than 70 leading-edge classrooms and specialty spaces. The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) managed the design and construction process for Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) and partnered with RSC Architects, DMR Architects, MAST Construction Services and Terminal Construction Corp. to design and build the new 350,000-square-foot school.

The county vocational magnet school – which serves grades 9-12 in Hudson County – combines technically-focused, hands-on learning with a challenging academic curriculum. Replacing its former aging, undersized North Bergen campus, the new school has been described as “the gem of high schools in Hudson County.”

“The Frank J. Gargiulo Campus will quickly become the gold standard for technical high schools across the country. Our design team, working collaboratively with our educators, have created something truly revolutionary. I know that it will serve our students and staff with the resources to drive learning to the next level,” says Amy Lin-Rodriguez, acting superintendent of HCST.

The new campus features a fabrication lab to help students explore spatial ideas through model building, a 120-seat black box theater, 325-seat performing arts auditorium, 80-inch interactive monitors to replace and enhance standard chalkboard learning, and a TV production studio with a functioning control room. Outdoor features include a hydroponic rooftop garden where students will grow food to be used in the culinary kitchen lab.

Photo Credit: Kate Glicksberg

This school was designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s (LEED) rigorous gold standards and requirements for sustainability. Features like water efficient landscaping, geothermal heating, green roof and wind turbines were implemented to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and wastewater emitted from the campus.

“It’s an honor to see the former Field Station Dinosaur Park transformed into a campus that puts Hudson County on the map as a top educational and environmentally conscious landmark. We have our outstanding designers and construction managers to thank,” says Norman Guerra, CEO of the Hudson County Improvement Authority.

As home to High Tech High School, KAS Prep and Hudson Technical, the campus’ wings incorporate four academies of vocational education: Culinary Arts, Design & Fabrication, Applied & Environmental Science and Visual/Tech & Performing Arts.

The visioning for this new cutting-edge facility began more than 10 years ago by HCST and RSC Architects, who carefully developed bridging documents to ensure this grand vision would become a reality. The HCIA managed the final design and construction, utilizing the design-build method to ensure a streamlined process. Terminal Construction Corporation was retained as the contractor and DMR Architects as the architect of record. Mast Construction Services Inc. was engaged as the owner’s representative and construction manager to oversee the day-to-day activities.

“Education trends are leaning more towards project-based learning to teach students ‘real world’ lessons, as opposed to sitting behind desks in a classroom,” says John P. Capazzi, president of RSC Architects, the project’s design bridging architect.

“The new High Tech High School will be a model for other districts seeking to be more progressive with their curriculums and preparedness of students for real-life success,” adds Lloyd Rosenberg, president and CEO of DMR Architects, the project’s architect of record.

“The entire project team was commonly united in achieving successful project completion in 27 months for the 2018 school year,” said Ted Domuracki, president of MAST Construction Services, Inc.

The new campus was dedicated to the former superintendent of HCST, Frank J. Gargiulo, during a ceremony on September 7. The Frank J. Gargiulo Campus of HCST is located at One High Tech Way at Laurel Hill Park, near the Frank R. Lautenberg NJ Transit train station.

“I am humbled by the decision to dedicate this campus in my name,” says Frank J. Gargiulo, former superintendent of HCST. “These students are among the brightest in the country and deserve a quality space to study and prepare themselves academically for the future.”

Photo Credit: Kate Glicksberg

About Hudson County Schools of Technology & High Tech High School

The Hudson County Schools of Technology is a public school district based in Hudson County, New Jersey, that offers career and vocational education for public middle school and high school students in sixth through twelfth grades and for adult students throughout Hudson County. With a 99 percent graduation rate, U.S. News has ranked HCST High Tech High School #35 on its 2018 list of the “Best High Schools in New Jersey” and #1063 on its list of “Best U.S. High Schools.” This new Secaucus campus will replace the North Bergen campus.

About Hudson County Improvement Authority

The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) is an autonomous public agency governed by a Board of Commissioners whose members are appointed by the Hudson County Executive and confirmed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The HCIA manages the County’s solid waste management plan, provides a variety of environmental programs, transportation management services, public financing and planning and energy initiatives. The HCIA’s professional staff and consultants provide strategic planning and coordination for various redevelopment projects. The HCIA partners with Hudson’s municipalities to provide low interest financial assistance needed for various projects.

About RSC Architects

RSC Architects, a Hackensack, New Jersey-based architectural firm, has been providing exceptional designs and quality service since 1971. A talented and professional staff provides a unique blend of creativity and quality, coupled with industry experience and attention to detail that is evident in every commissioned project. The tremendous capabilities of the accomplished staff offer a rich architectural experience with a depth of resources and services. The firm’s goal is to enhance life through innovative architecture. No project is too big and no challenge is too complicated for RSC to deliver creative and cost-effective solutions, both on time and within budget.

About DMR Architects

Headquartered in Hasbrouck Heights, DMR Architects is a respected full-service architectural firm specializing in architecture, master planning, sustainable design, programming, interior design and construction administration. The firm is active throughout local, national and international markets. Founded in 1991, DMR celebrates its 27th year serving a diverse client base in all market sectors, including education, public, corporate, residential and healthcare.

About MAST Construction Services, Inc.

Founded by real estate and construction professional Ted Domuracki, MAST Construction Services, Inc. is an award-winning owner’s representative, project and construction management and distressed projects firm. The Little Falls, NJ-based Company, which recently celebrated its 17th anniversary, has completed more than $1.5 billion worth of projects on behalf of its public and private sector clients, including work on World Trade Center Downtown Restoration Program in Manhattan and the Prudential Center in Newark. MAST specializes in working in several sectors, including institutional, educational, recreational, governmental, commercial, mixed-use residential and continuing care communities.

About Terminal Construction Corp.

Based in Wood-Ridge, Terminal Construction Corporation is one of the top 400 full-service construction companies in the United States. The organization has prospered from its inception in 1945 to the present through the hard work of its dedicated employees, attention to detail, excellent hiring practices and training and a total commitment to the satisfaction of its clients. Terminal enjoys an exceptional reputation both within the public and private sectors, having worked with all levels of governmental agencies, including federal, state, county and municipalities, as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Meadowlands USA

Meadowlands USA is a North Jersey regional publication that reaches people who live and work in and around the Meadowlands (including the Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic County corridor), as well as visitors to our region. The blog edition is updated regularly and the print edition is released six times a year.

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