Charter School Wins Approval For Bubble Gymnasium

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Architect Jeffrey Kusmick describes the bubble that the Central Jersey College Prep charter school will construct for its students.

A township charter school on Feb. 5 received Zoning Board approval to construct an inflatable bubble next to its School House Road building.

The Central Jersey College Prep school wants to use the bubble as a gym. The structure will also be shared by the New Jersey Chinese Community Center on a limited basis for its students.

The community center owns the building; Central Jersey College Prep rents half the space for its 313 students in grades 6 to 12.

The bubble will measure about 110 x 118 feet, and be about 2 feet high, architect Jeffrey Kusmick told the board. The township allows structures up to 50 feet in the zone in which the school is located.

The gym will hold one full-sized basketball court, with bleachers on one side and boys’ and girls’ lockers and an office on the other, he said.

The bubble will replace the space currently used as a gym, Kusmick said. He said the gym is basically a large room that was converted to hold a half-court basketball court.

That space will be converted either to a weight room or other educational space, he said.

Kusmick said he calculated that 186 people could sit on the planned five rows of bleachers.

The bubble’s exterior will be white, he said, while a transitional area between the school building and the bubble will be constructed of glazed concrete blocks painted in the school colors of purple and yellow.

The school’s attorney, Peter Lanfrit, told the board that the bubble would be used for physical education, plus student assemblies and events such as science fairs.

He said the Chinese school will have access to the area from 5-7 p.m. on weekdays, if the charter school is not using it.

Project engineer Craig Stires said the bubble will take away space for several of the eight school buses that service the school. He said those buses would just be stationed at another part of the school. He said the flow of buses in and out of the property would not be changed.


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