21 December 2012

04 December 2012

Cornerstone @25

2012 marks the 25th year in practice for New Jersey's Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC. We are proud to share this short video celebrating our 25th anniversary, showing you some of our architectural projects and more importantly the people that make up our team. A BIG Thank You to our families, friends and clients for supporting us for the "First 25"!

07 November 2012

Michael G. Soriano Elected President of the New Jersey State Board of Architects

On July 12, 2012, the New Jersey State Board of Architects voted and elected Cornerstone Architectural Group Partner, Michael Soriano as its new President for 2012-2013. The Board operates under the State's Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs. The Board of Architects is responsible for protecting the public's health and safety by determining the qualifications of individuals seeking licensure as Architects in the State, for establishing standards of practice for licensees and firms, and for disciplining those who do not adhere to the requirements. The Board also oversees and regulates the practices of Certified Interior Design and Licensed Landscape Architecture. Additionally, in his capacity as NJ-SBoA President, Mike will also serve as New Jersey's Member of the National Council of Architectural Registrations Boards (NCARB), and has been appointed to its National Intern Development Committee. The NCARB is comprised of the architectural registration boards of the 50 states and other jurisdictions. The mission of NCARB is to work together as a council of Member Boards to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public at large and to assist Member Boards in carrying out their duties. The Council develops the standards and testing required of applicants for architectural licensure.

26 October 2012

Kendall Park First Aid & Rescue Squad "Answer The Call"

After many years of need, two years of planning and 5 months of construction, the Kendall Park First Aid & Rescue Squad unveiled extensive renovations to its headquarters during a September 19, 2012 dedication ceremony. The facility, located on New Road in Kendall Park, is home to one of three first aid squads in South Brunswick. The squad has 45 volunteers and answers 1,800 calls a year, including three calls that happened during the dedication ceremony! 
Kendall Park 1
Built in 1960, the two buildings that made up the squad became antiquated and  too small to meet their current needs. A garage that houses two of their four ambulances was expanded 12 feet to its rear and 4 feet in the front to accommodate for the larger ambulances. Renovations also included a new higher roof, new HVAC systems, new electrical systems including an emergency back-up generator, and new accessible toilet and shower facilities for the EMS crew. The larger space also includes a meeting room and a full-size sink for cleaning their equipment. 

The Kendall Park First Aid & Rescue Squad collaborated with Cornerstone Architectural Group, S&K Construction and Magyar Bank to complete the necessary additions, alterations and repairs. The three companies worked together with the squad to keep costs as low as possible. The organization is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit and does not have a large amount of funds available. Michael Soriano, of Cornerstone helped design a solution to fully integrate the facilities into one cohesive unit. 
Kendall Park 3
For more information on how to become a volunteer, or to donate, visit the squad's website at www.kpfars.org

24 October 2012

Fun in the Sun

On the afternoon of Thursday, July 26th, Bob Barranger helped to coordinate and participated in the second annual Dairy Queen Miracle Treat day fund raiser to support The Children's Miracle Network. More than 100 classic show cars were on display at the event held at the Diary Queen on Fisher Boulevard in Toms River, NJ. Bob and his son Bobby drove their 1967 Shelby GT 350 and 1966 Mustang GT to the event for display and were on hand to answer questions about these rare beauties.

Face painting along with a magician and balloon artist helped the youngsters in the crowd celebrate the event. The children voted on their favorite classic cars, and trophies were awarded to their favorites. The Hawk 105.7 radio station was on site, broad casting live from the event. The event ran from early afternoon and into the evening hours. Through the volunteer efforts more than $2,500 in donations was raised to support the ongoing efforts of The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Designing for Expert Care, One Heart a Time AICD in New Providence

AICD Logo  
Cornerstone has again worked closely with Associates in Cardiovascular Disease to assist them with the interior design for the 1.2 million dollar fit-out of their newest 10,000 square foot cardiac testing and examination medical office in New Providence, NJ. AICD is one of the most comprehensive cardiology practices in New Jersey. In 2007, Cornerstone worked with AICD on the interior design alterations and expansion of their medical office located in Springfield, NJ.

Demolition within the existing facility is complete and the builder has now begun the new construction work.  The interior design features wood grain flooring and built-ins with a new super energy efficient lighting design and control system. The building mechanical systems are to be upgraded and significantly renovated to provide zoned and fully programmable comfort for the staff and patients. Becht Engineering BT of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ designed the HVAC system in coordination with Cornerstone.

The project is managed by Firm Associate, Marco T. Migliaro, Assoc. AIA, with supervision by Partner, Robert F. Barranger, AIA. Interior design and the selection of finish materials were coordinated by Erin Jimenez, IIDA.

08 August 2012



Previously, we announced that 2012 marks Cornerstone's 25th year in practice. One might say that we've had enough "practice" and that we should finally start getting down to "business"! In this blog post, titled "8701", we'd like to share an image of the rendering of Cornerstone's very first project. Job Number 8701, or "256 Hamilton Street" as we more aptly called it back then. It was, and still is today, a modest 2 story, 5,191 square foot Mixed Use Retail / Office building in Somerset, NJ. Our first client was H.O.B. Enterprises, and more important than that, was that the "H" and the "B" were our first accountant and our first attorney; Richard Heller and Hebert Bernstein. While no longer with us, we'd like to honor their memory and publically thank them 25 years later for helping the "Cornerstone Boys" get started, and for the faith and trust they put in us on their first development project also! While we went on to do many more projects that were much larger and more complex in nature over the ensuing two and a half decades, one can never forget their "First"! Thank You Dick & Herbie...

20 April 2012

The South Brunswick Family YMCA Honors One of Our Own

On Friday, April 13, 2012, the South Brunswick Family YMCA hosted its 12th Annual Gala Dinner & Comedy Night at Pierre’s Restaurant. Along with the honoring of retiring Board President; Anthony Campisano, Cornerstone’s very own Michael Soriano was recognized and honored for his commitment, involvement and support of the South Brunswick Family YMCA and community.

Mike, a long-time South Brunswick resident, is the co-founder of Cornerstone Architectural Group of South Plainfield. Mike and CAG were hired by the Y in 2006 as their Architect to design the renovations to the 12,000 square foot Youth Complex. “After a thorough evaluation process, the Y selected Mike as our architect. He really ‘gets’ the Y mission having served on the Board of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA as well as the YMCA of the USA's National Board,” said SB-F YMCA Executive Director Tom Libassi. “His work on behalf of our Y has been tremendous and his design of the Youth Complex clearly incorporated the needs of our diverse community.”

Mike Soriano is also well-known within in the South Brunswick High School band community, regularly supporting the band in various ways including his ‘expertise at grilling’ for their fund raising events.

Over 175 people attended the annual event, which helped to raise $20,000+ for the YMCA’s Annual Support Fund, which provides free and reduce fee memberships and program fees for kids, families and individuals in need of child care, after school care and other health and wellness programming.

The South Brunswick Family YMCA, located Monmouth Junction, has been serving the communities of Jamesburg, Monroe, Plainsboro and South Brunswick since 1996. The South Brunswick Family YMCA is a nonprofit values based, community-centered, membership organization dedicated to enriching the spirit, mind and body through quality programming and services; including child care, after school programming, sports, aquatics, health and fitness classes, family activities, senior programming, personal training and summer camp. Over the past 12 years, they have continued to grow and expand programs and today reaching a membership that exceeds 1,550 local families, seniors, teens, youth and adults with more than 2,500 people using the facility on a regular basis. “We’re for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility”. More information may be found by visiting www.southbrunswickymca.org.

30 March 2012

SHI Wins a 2012 NJBIA "New Good Neighbor" Award

For the 52nd year, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and New Jersey Business Magazine will honor companies that have built, expanded or renovated commercial and industrial buildings that improve the economy as well as the landscape of New Jersey. It’s with great pride that we report that our client SHI International Corp. has won this prestigious award this year for their newly renovated building in Somerset, NJ.

On November 10, 2011, special guests and friends attended the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of SHI's world headquarters building. New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno delivered the keynote speech to the standing room only audience.

SHI’s headquarters relocation to Somerset, NJ, brought with it 1,000 employees, with the potential for many more as the company continues to grow. The SHI Integration Center is also located in Somerset, NJ, and includes another 100 employees. This will have a positive impact on the local business community for both services and products. Local hospitality, convention, restaurants and hotels are just a few of the local businesses that will see an increase in use as SHI settles into the community.

It is estimated that over 500 construction jobs were created during the build out of the project that lasted for one year.

SHI closed 2010 with $3 billion in revenue. In July 2011, SHI announced revenue of $1.8 billion for the first half of 2011. An increase of 33% as compared to $1.3 billion recorded in the first half of 2010. On October 25, 2011, SHI announced their third quarter revenues were up 29%. SHI recorded strong domestic and international sales growth in its Enterprise and Corporate Sales divisions, growing 25% and 103%, respectively.

SHI opened a new $20 million cloud services data center that became operational in August, 2011. SHI will be using a series of best-of-breed, high performance components in their state of the art data center.

The winning builders, developers, architects, contractors, engineers and other professionals involved in the projects will be recognized at the New Good Neighbor Awards Luncheon on June 1, at the Pines Manor in Edison. This is one of the state’s premier networking events for the design & construction communities.

16 March 2012

Emerging Professionals to Launch Mentorship NOW Program

The AIA New Jersey Emerging Professionals Committee received a grant from The American Institute of Architects for their idea about a new mentorship program that facilitates interaction between professionals of all career stages. Mentorship is an essential feature of the development of an Architect’s career.

The program - "Mentorship NOW" - utilizes today’s technology such as social media and promotes interpersonal communication to develop career relationships. Learning through mentorship has evolved from a narrow path to a complex range of possibilities. This organized program streamlines the current process into a more productive form of mentorship relevant to interns and students today that can also benefit seasoned professionals.

Mentoring groups will have four levels of professionals including emerging professionals, mid-level licensed, mid-level unlicensed, and seasoned professionals, who are grouped together through common interests. Fellows will be invited to participate, with the goal of one per group. Mentoring through cross-generational communication will facilitate bridging the gap between different experience levels. Groups will be assembled based on information provided in applications.

As a supplement to the small mentoring groups, the committee will plan bi-monthly educational seminars where all are invited, featuring presentations given by professionals in other fields. Mentorship NOW will add educational seminars as another member benefit. These seminars will have AIA continuing education credits, which will encourage more to participate.

Mentorship NOW anticipates launching this program in the late spring of 2012. The program is being organized by AIA NJ Emerging Professionals Committee which includes a Chairperson from each section, state IDP Coordinator, state Chairperson, Regional Associate Director, YAF Liason and Associate AIA members.

Mentorship Now is also looking for professionals who are willing to volunteer time and teach seminars. If you are interested in doing this please contact Donna Miller at Miller@CornerstoneAG.com .

As AIA National has recently made support of Emerging Professionals a strategic priority, now is the time to foster their development and welcome them into the Institute here at home in New Jersey.

11 March 2012

Scotch Plains 911 Memorial

'The Scotch Plains September 11th Memorial is to memorialize the lives of those lost and to celebrate those who survived.' Through local donations, the monument was built on the Alan Augustine Village Green and dedicated to the victims and to the survivors of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The monument features steel from the World Trade Center. Cornerstone Architectural Group is proud to have been asked to donate our time and talent to this most noble effort. Thank You to the Township and to Scotch Plains Mayor Nancy Malool for your recognition. It was our Honor.

02 March 2012

Cornerstone Completes Interior Fit-Out for Neptune, NJ Senior Center

The Neptune Township Department of Senior Services and Senior Center was recently dedicated and opened to the senior citizens of the Township. The new facility now provides a multitude of services and special programs within the extensively renovated 12,500 square foot facility. The design challenge? How to take a former Rite Aid Pharmacy building, repurpose it and then transform it into the new home for the seniors of Neptune Township, NJ. That was the challenge that the Township sought of our design team. Cornerstone partnered with Lifespan Design Studio of Loveland, Ohio to create an innovative design solution that exceeded the client's needs. A soft earth tone color scheme created by Erin Jimenez, IIDA is accented by natural wood doors, handrails, simulated wood flooring. Project Architect Marco T. Migliaro, Assoc. AIA managed the project along with Partner Robert F. Barranger, AIA. Vito Tamborrino, Jr., AIA coordinated the on-site project activities during the build out. The new Center now boasts a full-service Commercial Kitchen, separate Fitness Activity Room featuring specialty athletic flooring, a large sub-dividable Multipurpose Room for lunches, group activities and meetings, a dedicated Ceramics Room and an Arts & Crafts Room. The Lobby with warm south-facing exterior glazing bathes this gathering space in natural daylight and features a masonry built-in fireplace as its focal point. This newly created Senior Center project truly sets the bar for design for the aging!

27 February 2012

Last Phase of the Fanwood - Scotch Plains YMCA's Master Plan is Finished!

Six years in the making, the very last piece of the Y's Master Plan was the renovation of the Fanwood - Scotch Plains YMCA's original 1970's era natatorium. Work in this portion of the Y complex included demolition of the old ceiling and outdated mechanical systems. After new insulated roofing and windows were installed, a new state of the art Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Humidity Control system was also implemented, along with new high efficiency lighting and all new wall and ceiling finishes. Previous phases included the addition of a new two story building that houses a second competition swimming pool, a new child care facility, new Y program classrooms, administrative offices, and basement storage spaces, in addition to a new two level wellness center, and increased parking capacity. Completion of this last phase finally unifies the "new" look of the Y throughout the entire complex. Cornerstone Architectural Group is very proud to have been an integral part all of these projects and wishes the F-SP Y and all its members many, many productive years in their "new" facility. Cornerstone truly believes in the YMCA's Mission 'For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility'.

21 February 2012

Marco T. Migliaro Named Firm Associate

Cornerstone Architectural Group is pleased to announce that Marco T. Migliaro, Associate AIA has been named an Associate of the Firm. Marco has a long tenure of employment at the firm since joining in 2001. He will continue to serve in his role as Project Architect, with client and project management responsibilities. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the New Jersey School of Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2005. He has completed the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards architectural internship at Cornerstone. Marco has served as Project Architect for many of the firms notable and award winning projects, including design projects for the Township of Hillsborough, SHI International Corporation and AAA. He has managed projects of varying complexity and building type in several market sectors. He also has extensive experience in Information Technology systems and applications. He serves as the firm's chief IT infrastructure manager. Marco lives in South Plainfield, N.J. with his wife and two pet dogs.  Congratulations Marco!

17 February 2012

Your Foundation for Success for 25 Years

As hinted in our December holiday card, 2012 is a Milestone Year for Cornerstone Architectural Group. This year we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in business and we are very proud of this achievement. To mark the occasion, we will be using our new anniversary logo "CornerstoneArc@25" that you see pictured above, all year long. Additionally, we will be issuing periodic articles and anecdotes via our Quarterly Newsletter, as well as this blog, and and our social networking sites on Facebook and Twitter. We will be tracing the evolution of the firm and highlighting our team members, our clients and some of the significant projects that have helped Cornerstone become the successful firm it is today. We invite you to follow along with us this year and help us celebrate this milestone. We would like to thank our dedicated team members, our supportive families, and our trusting clients for the success we have had. We look forward to sharing this special year with you.  

10 February 2012

New Jersey IIDA Chapter's 2012 Winter Mixer

On January 31st, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of the IIDA hosted their 2012 Winter Mixer, sponsored by Knoll. The event took place at Publick House, a quaint little restaurant in Mountainside, NJ, and boasted an attendance of over 50 designers, architects and vendors. The focus of the night was primarily to relay information regarding the upcoming fashion show. The group had a great night discussing ideas and catching up with friends and acquaintances while enjoying a wonderful selection of food and cocktails. Once again, this event goes to show that the new leadership of the NJ IIDA is gaining strength and interest in a once defunct region. The events that the organization is offering are getting bigger and better. "The Fashion Meets Finish: Raw Design" Fashion Show is a prime example. The upcoming fashion show will take place on May 17th, 2012 at the Stem Building, located on the campus of Kean University, and will showcase dresses designed and created by nearly 20 Architecture and Design firms in the area, using only the materials assigned to them. Visit the NJ IIDA’s Facebook page for more information regarding this and future events; http://on.fb.me/y9J0G0 . Cornerstone is proud of our very own; Erin B. Jimenez, IIDA, (2nd from the right pictured below), in her efforts along with her fellow officers of NJ-IIDA, to successfully bring renewed life back into the organization through their series of continuing education programs and social events. The IIDA promotes the interaction between Architects, Interior Designers and industry representatives. 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".