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WESTFIELD, NJ-New Brunswick-based Tekton Development Corp. has completed two projects for the Westfield Board of Education, including the renovation of the former Lincoln Elementary School at 728 Westfield Ave. here into an early childhood learning center.

The $2.5 million Lincoln project involved a total renovation of the school, which had been out of service for a number of years. The center, which opened for the 2008/2009 school year, now serves kindergarten students from every part of town. The school also provides programs for the town’s youngest special-needs children.

The renovation of the building, which was built in 1922, for the Early Childhood Learning Center freed up much-needed space in the district’s other six elementary schools.

The renovations included three pre-kindergarten disabled classrooms, nine kindergarten classrooms, a transitional kindergarten classroom, an autistic classroom, an art/general classroom, a physical therapy room, two small group instruction rooms, a speech/multipurpose room and offices.

The task of updating the building while preserving its original character posed special challenges, chief among them that of retrofitting the building to make it accessible to the handicapped, Tekton founder and president Brendan Murray tells GlobeSt.com. “A new central core was constructed to house an elevator, which allows handicapped students to reach the upper floors.”

The project also included the replacement of outdated building systems, including mechanical, electrical and technology/communications systems, with the central core also housing a new technology hub room. Exterior renovations included new windows and restoration of the masonry.

In addition, Tekton recently completed work on a new 40,000-square-foot dropped ceiling for the corridors at Westfield High School. The architect for both projects was Faridy Veisz Fraytak, based in Trenton, which includes early childhood classrooms among its specialties.

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