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Ridgewood Architects Design Newark Shelter

A Ridgewood architecture firm is designing the expansion of a Newark homeless shelter.
A Ridgewood architecture firm is designing the expansion of a Newark homeless shelter. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Poskanzer Skott Architects of Ridgewood has designed an upgrade and expansion of homeless shelter space for Newark-based community action agency United Community Corporation.

United Community Corporation received a $300,000 grant from the state Department of Community Affairs' Shelter Support Program to pay for enhancements to increase safety and security at the facility.

Located at 31 Fulton St. in Newark, the shelter provides short-term placement for more than 60 homeless adult men and women.

"Our shelter is in continuous use and the demand for services is strong," said Gina Plotino, program development specialist for United Community Corporation. "This grant will allow us to make use of the entire building to improve the quality of life for residents."

The new design includes a renovation of the building's second and third floors to provide new dormitories, bathrooms, showers and administrative offices. A substantial portion of the budget was used to install sprinkler systems and remediate asbestos to comply with current safety codes. The dormitories, lockers and bathrooms are currently in the building's basement, and the first floor houses staff offices and a large communal space for meals and support services.

"For now, our focus is on the construction of new men's dormitories on the second floor," said Plotino, noting that women will continue to use the shelter's existing facilities.

With demolition, remediation and sprinkler installation complete on all floors, the expectation is that United Community Corporation will secure additional money to complete the renovation.

"Our team has worked successfully with other non-profit organizations to maximize limited budgets," said Larry Skott, a partner at Poskanzer Skott Architects. "This design makes effective use of the space and keeps cost in line with materials and finishes that are functional and durable."

Poskanzer Skott is an established, award-winning design and planning firm with broad experience in the entire design process from concept to completion working on behalf of office, industrial, retail, multi-family, educational, health care and residential real estate clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

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