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A Blueprint for Design!

Kean University Prepares for the Construction of New Building

By Strawberry Gallagher
On February 12, 2012

Gruskin Group, one of the nation's leading design firms, is designing the newest building for Kean University. The building will be Kean University's Robert Busch School of Design, as well as include the increasing business programs. The expected 102,275-square-foot building will serve as an entrance marking the main entrance to Kean's campus located at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Green Lane.


Currently, the original Robert Busch School of Design is in the process of being demolished. By the middle of March of this year, the entire building will be knocked down and the new building will begin its construction. The anticipated completion of the building is June 2013. The department of Campus Planning and Facilities has not yet awarded the construction contract but plans to before the middle of March.


Phyllis Duke, director of the department of Campus Planning and Facilities, stated "For the longest time, we and the President were looking for something to do with that corner and we finally are." President Dawood Farahi stated "Kean University is dedicated to the intellectual, cultural and personal growth of its students, faculty and professional staff alike. In particular, we are committed to preparing our students to think critically, creatively and globally. Gruskin Group's vision for the building's design is a compelling one that reflects these values."


The building's most distinguishing and contemporary design elements is its undulating glass building façade as well as three towers of stone that have different functions for the building. The Gruskin Group designed the towers to house elevators, fire stairs, and bathrooms. The tower along Morris Avenue aligns with the grid that defines the primary road systems and the original Kean structures. The second tower identifies the educational building's main entrance and follows the same pattern of the main Kean University campus. The third tower's vertical plane faces the athletic fields and facilities.


The six- building is intended to provide both a comfortable and motivating environment for learning. On the first floor, there will be a Barnes and Noble café and a Barnes and Noble retail store. The store will go beyond just selling Kean University books and merchandise but will also provide the latest novels and books, like an ordinary Barnes and Nobles. There will also be a small bank area with a teller. On the first floor, there is also outdoor seating. On the second through fourth floor, there will be large classrooms and administration office space. The third and fourth floor has the exact same layout. Each floor has a vast amount of open lounge space for students to study and wait between classes as well as group study areas. This lounge area is very identical to the one in the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) building. The fifth floor is solely reserved for design classes and students. Many of the students will be in classes for five hours at a time so the classrooms are set up to be as comfortable as possible. On this floor, there will be hard walls and a computer drafting lab as well as an open classroom with moveable furniture. On the sixth floor, there will be a circular 50 person conference center and rooftop terrace.


For more information, contact the department of Campus Planning and Facilities by calling (908) 737-5000 or visiting the maintenance building, room 122.

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