NJ Future 2019 Smart Growth Award Winner

Second Street Youth Center, 200 Plainfield Avenue, Plainfield, NJ

Completed a year ago, SSYC is a 25k+ sf, one-story building that encompasses the end of a block and occupies two corners. The intertwining of the traditional school material – brick, and the contemporary material fiber cement siding is done to reflect the school’s historical presence while also looking towards the future and embracing a forever playful learning environment we aspire for in this community facility. Throughout the interior, we provide colorful and soft materials that would stimulate and inspire. Wide corridors and large classrooms allow plenty of space for the kids to stretch their young bodies and minds.

The objective was to provide a high-quality learning facility for the neighborhood’s preschool and after-school kids. We also wanted to help with the transformation of a community that has been ignored and blighted for decades.

Today, this former blighted site serves more than 200 preschoolers and another 200 after-school children. It has become a key a civic asset, leveraging both its location and its range of services to generate expanded opportunity for the neighborhood it serves. Through the use of energy-efficient design, the center will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint. By including an urban farm, SSYC directly addresses the food desert issue plaguing the area. The urban farm and Kids’ Cafe lower the transportation costs of bringing healthy food to the community, and the urban farm also takes advantage of on-site composting of food waste.

ClientTD+Partners/JG Petrucci