DMR Architects Design New Facility for Special Needs Children

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DMR Architects has designed a new, state-of-the-art facility for the Special Children's Center in Lakewood, New Jersey, which is anticipated to be ready for move-in by January 2009.

Designed to house 28 children with special needs currently enrolled in the Special Children’s Center’s respite and support programs, the facility will feature five state-of-the-art classrooms, bathing facilities, therapy rooms, an indoor playground, an auditorium, and administrative offices, with the finished building estimated to cost about $1.5 million. Once completed, the center will be available to individuals from ages three to 21 who have Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and other special needs. The center has provided a variety of free respite programs, including summer day camps, school care, and weekend and holiday programs, for special needs children and their families for the past decade.

''Our old center was just too small,'' said Hindy Langer, executive director for Special Children’s Center, according to a company press release. ''The people we work with deserve better, but we knew this would not be an easy or an inexpensive undertaking.''

Lloyd Rosenberg, president and founder of DMR Architects, provided pro bono design services to the center.

''The construction and progress to date [have] gone according to plan,'' he said. ''I am happy that our team was able to be a part of such a great cause. We are thrilled to provide our services for an at-need population in the Lakewood community.''

One of the largest and most prestigious full-service architectural firms in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area, DMR helped develop the 10,000-square foot facility in combination with Somerset Development’s Ralph Zucker, the building committee chairman for the center. Zucker conceived the project as one in which participants would donate their services, supplies, and time to construct the facility.

Founded in 1991, according to its website, DMR Architects ''is a full-service architectural firm specializing in programming, planning, design, interior design, LEED design, and construction administration for both public and private clients in various market sectors including educational, mixed-use residential, commercial, healthcare, housing, and redevelopment. DMR Architects is unique in that it offers the personal service and attention of a smaller firm, yet its staff, capabilities, and experience offer a depth of service usually associated with larger architectural firms.    ''
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