Millburn High School Students Present Ideas for Civic Revitalization
Monday, February 4, 2013 • 12:05pm
MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn High School students presented their ideas for potential changes to the town’s civic district including a new municipal building to Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff, Deputy Mayor W. Theodore Bourke and local architect Nancy Doughtery, AIA, of Studio 1200, who provided design review of the students’ work.
In a recent meeting with The Alternative Press, Mayor Haimoff had expressed great anticipation for this presentation. “I’m really excited to see what the students have come up with,” Haimoff said.
The project was completed as part of Millburn High School’s Architecture class with teacher Roger Keller, Ed.D. It began with a study of Millburn’s history of city planning and a discussion with Mayor Haimoff about the current civic buildings and the town’s master plan. The class also learned about the work of planning icons like Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, Ebenezer Howard and even Walt Disney and his ideas for Disneyland and Epcot Center.
Students worked in groups to document the existing conditions in the areas of town with civic buildings, including all visual and physical elements that would come into play during their planning for the future.
The students then used this information, and what they had learned about ecological and sustainable architecture in Architecture 1 class, to decide what was needed, where it could be located, how to do it in a way that would save energy and make the project as green as possible.
The group presented schematic design concepts for a new municipal building as well as parking, public spaces, sidewalks, lighting and more. Students also had some suggestions about possible uses for the old municipal building.
Mayor Haimoff said that, “The students did a wonderful job of considering new ideas both for the civic center as well as the ‘green’ thinking that must become a part of our future planning in town.”
Architecture class teacher Roger Keller, Ed.D. explained, “The cross-generational learning that occurred between town leaders, the architect, and the students was a satisfying culmination of this real-life exploration project. This type of authentic learning is possible when professionals like architect Nancy Dougherty, AIA and township officials are willing to work collaboratively with schools to bring real world situations in the class to enrich the learning experience.”