Proj Overview


When new student housing was required at an urban New Jersey college, precast concrete was the first and only choice. As a new cornerstone landmark for the campus, the design needed to be one that would both accommodate and represent the tech forward, innovative student body. With the next generation beginning their college selection process, students want single occupancy rooms and amenities that make student housing feel more like a home. This student housing offers bicycle storage, underground parking, a game room, creative space, lounge space, a grass courtyard, and indoor and outdoor cafes.

"The project's design fits the existing built fabric of the campus and provides amenities that I think our students will appreciate," said Branko Kolarevic, College Dean.


As the process to approve the design and site for this project began, so did the COVID pandemic lockdowns. Because of the lockdowns, the project was going to be delayed which would have added additional costs. But after thoughtful consideration, the project was approved to begin in 2021 and would be completed for student occupancy in the fall of 2022. During this time, many construction projects across the nation were put on hold, however using precast in a plant that was following COVID guidelines, allowing work to continue offsite during a time of uncertainty. Utilizing precast for this project also meant that it was able to be finished on a tight timeline. The team was able to complete the construction in a short 15 months because construction and casting were performed off-site, saving space, and maximizing efficiency in the urban environment.

“To deliver a project of this size, scale, and magnitude, in the best of times, in less than two years is a heck of a feat,” said Andrew Christ, college Senior VP for Real Estate at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony. “To do it during a global pandemic hovering over us was even more impressive. We persevered! We were nimble! We continued to stay the course!"

The construction site was home to an existing 1908 public schoolhouse building. Part of the design of the new student housing was to incorporate the main entrance of the original schoolhouse into the student housing. The arch from the school was preserved and placed in the lobby of the new housing so students are able to walk through a 100-year-old arch every day on the way to campus.



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Project Team


RISE:  A Real Estate Company

PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producer:

High Concrete Group


Niles Bolton Associates


O'Donnell & Naccarato

Key Project Attributes

  • The intensity of the fast-tracked design and construction process due to COVID lockdowns was the biggest challenge.
  • There was a need for heavily coordinated design due to individual dorm units and mechanical items associated with them.
  • Once the design was completed, precast panels could begin pouring in the precast production plant prior to being needed on site, enabling the tight timeline to be met.

Project/Precast Scope

  • 548-bed student residence hall that accommodates the historic and contemporary aspects of the NJIT campus
  • The exterior precast, insulated wall with punched openings and brick inlay evoke adjacent university buildings, while the main entrance—­­­an eight-story, floor-to-ceiling glass tower—serves as a welcoming campus beacon and maximizes views of both the New York City and Newark skylines.
  • Approximately 750 precast wall panels for the building structure. 190, 000 square feet of hollow core plank; approximately 40 precast stair risers; columns and girders for the precast parking garage and green roof.
  • Thin brick and sandblast architectural precast concrete finishes; cornice and windowsill details also incorporated into panels.