Golda Och Academy Lower School
West Orange, NJ

This 18,000 sf addition to Solomon Schechter Day School in West Orange, NJ and full renovation of the existing school included a new cafeteria, new library, new administrative offices, new music room, new science and technology suite and new a chapel (Beit Knesset). The project was completed in 15 months, with renovations during the first summer, a major addition over the winter, and completion and renovations over the second summer. The school was completed and fully occupied for the start of school, September 2013.

Highlights and challenges included:

  • 33 foot long skylight constructed of Kalwall glazing, structural steel and curved sheetrock framing- creates a beautiful technology lobby in the new addition.
  • 2000 sf Beit Knesset constructed with a front wall faced with Jerusalem stone. This stone was imported from Israel and hand carved to resemble a section of the Kotel (western wall).
  • 750 sf sound proofed music room adjoining an existing performing arts stage.
  • Large curtain wall incorporated into the design, with security glazing and reflective properties to meet security concerns.
  • Original project bids approached $10,000,000. The final expenditures on the project were less than $8,000,000. The savings were achieved using a true Construction Manager Advisor system to build the addition.

RBA managed the construction of the renovations and additions working with Owner’s representative Construction Management Resources.

Golda Och Academy interior Golda Och Academy Beit Knesset Golda Och Academy round skylight

What a pleasure working with you on the Golda Och Academy Lower School expansion and renovation! The final (or almost final) exceeds our expectations and is nothing short of spectacular. Everybody entering who has seen the ’before’ is amazed at the change.

On a personal level, I was always impressd that no matter how many balls were in the air at once, how stressful a situation we were encountering, you always responded with a calm demeanor and a smile on your face. You always took our concerns and suggestions seriously and made us feel that we were valued clients... Many thanks, Scott, for the significant role you played in our project. It never would have happened without you.

— Joyce Raynor, PhD,
Head of School