City Green has broken ground and begun a major fundraising effort for their new Learning Farm in Clifton which will serve northern New Jersey residents, schools, and...
Borst Landscape & Design Union City Project Breaks Ground When Union City High School (UCHS) broke ground for its new Student Sanctuary at Kennedy Boulevard and 24th Street in Union City this fall, Terry McMahon, landscape designer at Borst Landscape & Design in Allendale, NJ, was especially excited.
After dedicating a solid two years to the detailed bidding process and painstaking design plans for the outdoor space that had to at once provide an enriched student experience and a welcomed sense of place, McMahon was awarded a head landscape designer post by the Union City Board of Education and created the final specifications for the UCHS Student Sanctuary with structural engineers from Becica Associates, LLC and site engineers from Environmental Resolutions.
“I love the enthusiasm that is ongoing with this project,” noted McMahon. "The educators, engineers, contractors and students have this constant energy that is personally giving me a wonderful experience. The talent and experience among the professionals is a privilege, and ultimately the project will be an outstanding success.'
When construction is completed in June 2012, the tangible results of McMahon’s hard work and keen vision will be unveiled in the form of a 16,900-square-foot, gorgeously landscaped, triangular pedestrian plaza connecting Union City High School’s main entrance to the community at Kennedy Boulevard and 24th Street.
The urban oasis will provide an outdoor space that welcomes both students and members of the public to sit, gather or simply take a stroll along decorative winding paths and planted gardens, including a fully functioning rain garden. The Student Sanctuary will house landscaped and hardscaped areas that encourage small student gatherings, a small amphitheater, benches, and a decorative radius pergola with additional seating. A beautiful waterfall and fountain will provide soothing background sounds and tranquil movement. The brick-paved winding walkway, bluestone-paved patios at the Sanctuary’s three corners, and concrete ramps will allow for barrier-free access to all landscape elements. Evergreen and deciduous trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, attractive seasonal grasses, and sculpted-lawn plantings have been selected based on their ability to deliver gorgeous, changing colors and textures year round. Ornate metal security fences, gates and low natural-stone walls section off the plaza from the street. The Student Sanctuary is the final element to be added to the new Union City High School and Athletic Complex, which officially opened in 2009 and was constructed as one of the State of New Jersey’s demonstration projects by New Jersey’s school construction program.
The state-funded Student Sanctuary was the recipient of the Hudson County Planning Board’s 2011 Gold Smart Growth Award. The Division of Planning compiled a list of projects that were provided by the Planning Board in 2010 and applications for this award were evaluated based on site selection, site design and proposed green infrastructure criteria from a number of sources including the American Planning Association, The U.S. Green Building Council, and NJ Future.
Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack was tireless in his determination to acquire the state funding for UCHS and the Student Sanctuary. Superintendent Stanley Sanger thanked Mayor Stack and called the Sanctuary an extension of the classrooms that will provide tremendous learning experiences. UCHS Principal John Bennetti agreed, praising the area as one that will offer to students many unique horticultural, scientific, and environmental research opportunities.
Student Council President Jowkuell Arias foresees a beautiful, relaxing oasis in which students can escape the city before, during and after school, giving the teens “a stronger sense of community and pride.”
“That made me very happy to hear, especially coming from a student,” beamed McMahon. “This Sanctuary is for them and Jowkuell summed up perfectly what had been my ultimate goal throughout this entire process.”
For photos or to learn more about the Union City High School Student Sanctuary project and design, the Hudson County Planning Smart Growth Awards, or to speak with Terry McMahon regarding Borst Landscape & Design’s role in the creation of this outdoor student oasis, please contact Christine Devereaux at Christine@thedsmgroup.com or 201-485-7779. Borst Landscape & Design is an award-winning, full-service landscape design/build firm specializing in large-scale residential and commercial projects throughout northern New Jersey. Founded in 1989 and based in Allendale, NJ, the company has received recognition from numerous national and industry organizations including the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and Landscape Management Magazine. Borst Landscape & Design is the Grand Award winner of 40th Annual Environmental Improvement Awards from PLANET (Professional Landcare Network).
Borst Landscape & design employs solely "green" practices with Borst Organic®. This private-label line of organic products for lawn, tree and shrub care avoids synthetic fertilization and harsh chemicals. The holistic approach promotes optimum growing conditions and natural resistance to pests and diseases. For more information, please visit the web site at www.borstlandscape.com or call 201-785-9400