Central King Building at New Jersey Institute of Technology – 2018 New Good Neighbor Award Winner

The Central King Building was actually a Newark
city high school designed by Ernest Gilland back in 1911. This building was opened as, what we would
term today, as a vocational school. It– it functioned as a Newark city high school
until 2008 when it was replaced by the new central high school and NJIT took acquisition
of the property in 2010, buying it from the city of Newark for $8.3 million. The plans were to create a center for
innovation, something that is functioning for the students, allowing student achievement
to occur and creating a teaching and learning environment, very modern, technology-focused
and really transitioning what was a high school, which was really built to move students from
one place to another, to a college facility, which you want students to sit and gather
and– and interact casually. So it changed and we almost turned the building
on its head. So that was a– part of the design process
was to really recreate and repurpose and remanufacture the building into what it is today. So NJIT has received a tremendous amount of
positive feedback related to the building. We had some former central high school alumna
who have come through and– and– and seen the transformation of the facility, but for
me, the biggest compliment that we received was before the building was actually open,
and the ribbon cutting occurred, the students had found their way into the space and were
already using it and that is exactly what it was intended to be. So, for me, that was the biggest compliment
of all that what we tried to create is exactly what we ended up creating and that was a place
for the students to be on our college campus.

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