Reed Academy Moves to Oakland, NJ for 2011 School Year
OAKLAND, NJ -- The new Reed Academy school building is no ordinary school. Complete with laundry facilities for student use, a replica of an average household bathroom and a full kitchen, the school is equipped with everything one would need in a home. Reed Academy, a private, non-profit school aimed at teaching individuals with autism aged 3 to 21 life skills, uses all of these areas to empower its students and to foster their independence.
River Drive Construction Co., a leading New Jersey construction company based in Elmwood Park, N.J., was the construction manager for this project. The firm has announced that it has completed the 25,000-square-foot, one-story school at 25 Potash Rd., Oakland, N.J. Additional spaces in the building include classrooms, an exercise area, a nursing bay and life skills suites. The project costs approximately $4.9 million.
“This is an exciting project for us because we've built a state-of-the-art learning center that will be equipped with all the tools necessary for Reed Academy to carry out its mission of preparing children with autism spectrum disorders for an independent life,” said Joseph Langan, president of River Drive. “Reed Academy was a fantastic partner: they had a clear vision and trusted us to carry that vision out.”
River Drive provides construction and consulting services to developers, management companies, end users and corporations in New Jersey, southern New York and Pennsylvania in sectors including interiors, science and technology, hospitality, institutional, healthcare and retail.
Construction started in June 2010 and was recently completed, in time for the new school year. The school, which was located in Garfield, N.J., has moved to the new location for the 2011 school year. The school currently has an enrollment of 30 children, aged 3-15, and is certified by the state to instruct individuals up to the age of 21.
Ed Walsh, President of the Walsh Co. and owner's representative for the project, was impressed by the efficiency of River Drive's work on this unique project.
“We're very proud to have been part of this project,” said Walsh. “Bringing River Drive on board for value engineering and pre-construction services as early as we did definitely resulted in the project staying within budget and on schedule. Our primary goal when we serve our clients is achieving the level of excellence we did on this project, which was made possible in part through our partnership with River Drive.”
Reed Academy uses leading teaching methods in its program, even adopting the use of iPads. Students each have their own iPads, which allows them to schedule their own days and to take advantage of the numerous applications geared toward individuals in the autism spectrum.
“To educate our students, we want the best facilities and technology available,” said Dr. Todd Eachus, executive director of Reed Academy. “To accommodate the growth of our school, we needed an independent, uniquely designed facility. River Drive did an outstanding job in meeting our needs and performed excellently throughout the entire construction process by meeting the timetable and budget.”
The architectural firm for the project was Weisz and Yoes Architecture, based in New York, N.Y., and the engineering firm was Michael Murray P.A., and the site engineer was McNally Engineering LLC, based in Oakland, N.J.