Hoboken’s Stevens Institute of Technology recently opened a new facility and has broken ground on another one, marking the beginning of what should be a busy year of construction on the historic campus.
The institute, located on a hill in midtown Hoboken, has ambitious expansions plans but also a distinct space problem. The institute is bounded by topography and parks on all sides, also abutting residential brownstones along Hudson Street. They essentially have no room to expand outward, so making the most of their 55-acre campus is key.
The recently-opened ABS Engineering Center is one example of the school’s attempt to maximize their land. The American Bureau of Shipping partnered with Stevens for the project at 711 Hudson Street, giving them around $3 million to help get the center off the ground. The building itself was actually first built during World War II with Navy funding, later being used to test student projects.
The property has now been adaptively reused into a maritime-based collaborative engineering center and houses five lab spaces, 13 faculty offices, workstations for up to 16 graduate students, and a 28-seat seminar space. It combines naval, mechanical and civil engineering studies and the modern industrial appearance of the property has added a sleeker look to the streetscape.
Up the road, Stevens just broke ground on their North Building project, which will be sandwiched on a former parking lot between Humphreys Hall and Jonas Hall. Designed by Elkin/Sobolta & Associates of Rutherford, the three-story building will utilize modular construction and contain 15,450 square feet of office and classroom space.
Expected to finish in May this year, the building will function as “swing” space during various improvements taking place on the campus and will soon be home to the institute’s Computer Science department. That program needs to vacate their current digs at the Lieb Building because of a huge investment that’s in the school’s pipeline.
Dubbed ‘Gianforte Academic Center,’ the institute will soon tear town the Lieb Building and a parking lot across the street at the intersection of Hudson and 6th Streets. In their place, two new four-story buildings will rise and house 17 classrooms, 14 labs, and offices. Designed by Philadelphia-based Wallace Roberts Todd, the two buildings are targeted for LEED Gold Certified and connect to each other via a skybridge.
The project was initially the subject of some controversy over height but ended up getting approval in late 2015.
In part to accommodate for the loss of surface parking lots, Stevens will finally be finishing up their parking garage at the Babbio Center later this year. The expanded garage is to be built to the foot of Sinatra Drive and will create 266 additional parking spaces. A recreational green roof terrace accessible from 6th Street will be included in the project, which could eventually be used for a seasonal skating rink.
Also drawn up by Wallace Roberts Todd, the plan will additionally rebuild crumbling stairs nearby and add a fabric facade on to the garage to make it more aesthetically appealing.