29 April 2011

The Fanwood - Scotch Plains YMCA Completes Its Latest Phase

January 2011 ushered in a new year for all of us, and it also marked the “beginning of a new era” for the Fanwood – Scotch Plains YMCA with completion of its latest phase of construction and finalization of their master plan that was promised to the communities of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, and the Y’s members 5 years ago. Completion of this portion of their facility plan added a new 2 story building to the existing complex. It contains a second natatorium with a 6 lane / 25 yard competition pool, a state of the art child care facility, Y program classrooms, administrative offices, and basement storage spaces. Previous phases created a new 2 level wellness center, and doubled the Y’s parking capacity. The very last piece of the plan, the renovation of the Y’s original 1970’s first natatorium, is now underway. Completion of this last portion will unify the look of the Y throughout their entire complex. Cornerstone Architectural Group is very proud to be associated with these projects and wishes the F-SP Y and all its members many fruitful years in their “new” facility. Cornerstone truly believes in the YMCA’s Mission ‘For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility’.

22 April 2011

New Jersey’s Best Buildings

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks Xanadu, (the stalled megamall project in the NJ Meadowlands), is the ugliest structure in the state. A recent Quinnipiac University Poll confirms that most residents agree. Debating what the worst building in our state is might be intriguing, but we are much more interested in a discussion about the Best Buildings in New Jersey. Let’s stop talking about the worst, and begin a discussion about the best. In 2007 the American Institute of Architects, (AIA), published a list of the 150 “Best Buildings” in the country, in celebration of its 150th birthday. While no buildings in New Jersey made that list, our state is home to some great buildings. What is your favorite building in New Jersey? Above are a few of our favorites.

15 April 2011

Somerset OB/GYN is "Re-Born"

On November 1, 2009 at 2:56 AM, the offices of Somerset OB/GYN Associates, (SOGA), in Bridgewater Township were devastated by a horrific fire that almost destroyed their facility. If it had not been for the heroic work of the Bridgewater FD it surely may have been so. SOGA is a women’s healthcare practice that had been in existence for over 30 years. The day after the fire a principal of SOGA was on the phone with Cornerstone and Waitikowich Construction, the team that had expanded and renovated their offices for them more than ten years previous. Using the plans that had been kept for them, Cornerstone helped SOGA deal with the insurance companies and worked closely with the Township construction officials and the builder. First getting them into temporary offices, and then to reconstruct their facility. Cornerstone provided complete architectural, engineering and interior design services and worked in close concert with Waitikowich Construction, who got them back into their “new” facility in record time. Here, for the women of central New Jersey, SOGA will continue to provide the high quality healthcare services they had always been known for, and now for generations to come.

08 April 2011

Erin Jimenez Appointed Co-Director of IIDA's New Jersey City Center

Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC is proud to announce that Erin B. Jimenez, Assoc. AIA has been newly named as Co-Director of the International Interior Design Association's (IIDA) New Jersey City Center, a Pennsylvania / New Jersey / Delaware Chapter. The mission of the chapter is; "To enhance the quality of life through excellence in interior design, and to advance interior design through knowledge, value and community". The IIDA promotes the interaction between Architects, Interior Designers and industry representatives. The association offers a forum that promotes and encourages continuing education for the profession through educational lectures and events, as well as providing it's members with exposure to a large network of professionals and resources. Erin is very excited for this opportunity and very much looks forward to the responsibility. The firm encourages and supports Erin in her efforts, and wishes her Good Luck in her tenure as Co-Director!

01 April 2011

Cornerstone Architectural Group Participates in CANstruction Competition

Cornerstone participated in New Jersey’s 2010 CANstruction event at the Prudential Center Arena in Newark this past November. CANstruction is an event where design, engineering, and construction companies create sculptures out of canned food and compete for best design, structural ingenuity, best use of labels etc. The sculptures are dismantled after judging and the food is donated to local food banks just in time for Thanksgiving. This year one of the themes was Newark and Cornerstone built a 10’ flag waving over Military Park. Historically, Military Park was used as a location to recruit and train troops in Newark. The sculpture was over 3000 cans and weighed over 1.5 tons. This year’s event resulted in a record amount, over 45,000 pounds of food, that was donated to local food banks. Cornerstone whole heartedly THANKS all of our participants and sponsors. Click on the photo above and please support them too. Special Thanks to Steve Soriano and Classic Elegance Caterers for doing all the "heavy lifting"!

Cornerstone Plays a Small Part in a Large Humanitarian Effort

Cornerstone has provided design assistance to aid the noble humanitarian efforts of ForThisOne.org to build composting toilets in earthquake ridden Haiti. Construction of the first composting toilet project in the Jubilee Blanc neighborhood of Gonaïves, Haiti is about half-way done. Working with a Haitian construction crew, they now have the foundation and barrel enclosure finished. Next up, the concrete floor of the stalls, toilet bowls, and privacy enclosures need to be completed. The village of Jubilee has no real sanitation facilities left to speak of. There are a few private outhouses in this village, but nothing that is public and accessible to all who live there. There is no running water or sewage system in any of the modest houses and huts that comprise the village, so people have to go far out into the fields. The problem with this is that many of the villagers, including very malnourished children, go shoeless in this same area. Parasites such as hookworms enter the body through the soles of the feet and can rob an already malnourished child of 20% of his nutrients. The idea behind the dry toilets project is to make their living areas more sanitary and improve the health of the whole community. Working with local construction crews gives the opportunity to pass the toilet design and goals of the project onto local people who can then replicate it as needed. Cornerstone is proud to have been a part of this incredible effort. See the recent article in the Brunswick Sentinel.

Cornerstone at the 2010 YMCA of the USA’s General Assembly

The 2010 General Assembly took place July 8-11, 2010, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. More than 3,000 staff members and community volunteers from YMCAs across the nation gathered at the once-every-three-years meeting to focus on the work being done at 2,687 YMCA facilities nationwide to help children develop in healthy environments and to strengthen families. Mike Soriano represented Cornerstone and participated on behalf of the firm as member of the YMCA of the USA's Partner Provider Network to offer comprehensive architectural design services to YMCAs. This dynamic network expands resources available to YMCAs while ensuring use of new insights consistent with YMCA values and practices. Cornerstone draws from a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer YMCAs exceptional guidance in developing and managing YMCA properties. The firm will partner with Y Associations to ensure that their facilities support program needs, and that services inspire a positive member experience. CAG assists Y’s from “start to finish” to identify areas of significant savings in construction and operational costs while achieving design excellence. Cornerstone will continue focus on the Y’s missions “For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility”.