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Spring 2017 Newsletter


"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

- Ben Franklin

What was true in the early days of our country is still true today: Education is the key to success in life. For most American children, the school is the focal point of their education from kindergarten through high school. It’s the building many kids call "home" for six or more hours a day...it’s where they learn, where they socialize and where they develop skills that will last a lifetime.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

While the importance of education remains constant, what is different now from yesteryear is how and where children learn. It’s obvious that the one-room schoolhouse has gone the way of the horse and buggy, replaced by modern technological structures built to educate children in the 21st century and beyond.

PS&S designs sustainable, efficient, and cost effective educational facilities for both private and public institutions. Our goal is to translate the needs and vision of our clients into practical architecture and engineering solutions that support current and future educational needs.

We are proud of our portfolio of completed K-12 education projects which include recent additions in New Brunswick, Keansburg, Newark, Paterson and Millville, New Jersey as well as the Bronx, New York.

Townships and school districts are making important investments in their educational infrastructure and our architects and engineers have extensive experience designing and delivering high-performance design-build "21st century" K-12 school buildings. We are also LEED-certified specialists.

With the 2017-2018 school year now in full swing, our autumn newsletter will highlight our education work and the professionals who are working to design and build the next generation of schools for the next generation of students.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at asartor@psands.com, or John Sartor at jsartor@psands.com.

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Whether it’s creating brand new schools or redesigning space in existing buildings, PS&S is helping to reshape the learning environment for thousands of children.

For the past 15 years, PS&S has provided its full complement of architecture, engineering and environmental services that school districts need to rebuild and upgrade their school buildings into 21st Century learning facilities. Currently, there are more than 2,500 K-12 schools in the state of New Jersey, many of which need extensive technological and sustainable upgrades, if not total replacement . With its integrated design and engineering, PS&S offers a strategic advantage for townships and districts looking to invest in their schools which is certainly gaining momentum in the state. Given this trend, education has the potential to serve as a true growth-engine for PS&S.

Ron Weston heads up the company’s Education Sector. Ron joined PS&S in 2011 and is a senior member of the Architecture & Engineering Practice where he is involved in business development and management of A/E projects. Ron is a graduate of Syracuse University and is a passionate advocate for sustainable design, environmental protection, and smart land use planning.

"It is extremely rewarding to design buildings where children can learn and grow," Ron said. "I don’t mind dealing with the myriad challenges with these public projects, when at the end of the project you get to cut a ribbon on a new school. Schools are investments in the future and will be around for generations."

In New Jersey specifically, PS&S offers design-build delivery expertise with several completed projects standing as proof that this is the wave of the future. If the old adage is true that time is money, this process is a win-win. The process allows for one contract and one unified flow of work from preliminary design through completion – thereby integrating the roles of designer and constructor. Design-build is an alternative to the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method and it certainly saves time...and money.

In just the past year, PS&S had the privilege of helping to unveil three brand new schools.

In New Jersey, the company successfully teamed with Farmingdale, NJ-based Hall Construction on six NJ Schools Development Authority (NJSDA) design-build projects, including two award-winning schools which opened in 2016: Elliott Street Elementary School in Newark and Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School in Keansburg. PS&S served as both Engineers of Record and Architect of Record for both schools, working in close collaboration with the design-build contractors. Both projects were recognized with Distinguished Engineering Awards by the New Jersey Alliance for Action.

The new $38 million Elliott Street Elementary School, is a 137,889 square foot facility designed to educate 848 students from Grade Pre-K to Grade 8. The new $33 million Caruso Elementary School is 122,000 square-feet and is designed to educate 840 students in grades K to 4.

Both school buildings replaced previous old school structures that were no longer suitable for use and were demolished to make way for new facilities. These state-of-the-art education facilities house general classrooms, specialized instructional classrooms and labs, media center, multi-purpose/assembly room, cafeteria, gymnasium and outdoor play areas, as well as administrative and support facilities.

Most recently, PS&S’s integrated A/E group, including architecture, civil, structural, MEP and Geotech teams, designed and engineered the state-of-the-art elementary school, PS 583 in the Bronx, New York. The project received a 'Gold' design award at the AIA Newark & Suburban 2017 Design Awards competition, and is now home to more than 500 students and teachers.

In addition to public schools, PS&S is pursuing opportunities with public charter schools as well. And the education group also focuses on higher education work. PS&S has partnered with many colleges and universities with competed projects at SUNY Albany, Montclair State University, Richard Stockton College, Columbia University and Rutgers University, just to name a few.

One of the clear drivers of the company’s education work is the changing face of technology. Schools need to be built for the 21st Century – they need to be sustainable, environmentally friendly and encourage health and wellness. PS&S has a dedicated group that leads energy projects and collaborates with other disciplines on energy initiatives in both new construction and renovation projects. The PS&S professionals are Certified Energy Managers and/or LEED-Accredited Professionals who have experience on a variety of energy and sustainability projects.

"The only definite we know of is that change is inevitable," says Ron Weston. "You can’t account for everything, but you must assume things will change. 10 years ago, the trend in schools was building with fiber cable to the desktop. Now, it’s all about wireless. No one anticipated that cabling would be unnecessary. It’s hard to predict all the technological needs of the future but we need to design with flexibility and adaptability as best we can. The health and wellness of students and teachers, who spend so much of their lives in these buildings, is paramount as we create updated and new schools."

For more information, contact Ron Weston at rweston@psands.com.

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2017 Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge


PS&S was a sponsor of the 16th Annual Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge event on Sunday, November 5th.

PS&S has supported this event for many years, and with our Delaware Valley / Cherry Hill office in close proximity, PS&S had runners and walkers participate in the event.

The event supports the nearby Larc School, a school that serves special needs students throughout the region.

PS&S’s Harry Wright, Mark Allen and Mark’s wife Jamie participated in the event.  Harry and his daughter Emily participated in the Walk the Bridge event, while Mark and Jamie ran the full 10K.

Marge DellaVecchia, her husband Paul and dog Charlotte also participated by handing out water to runners as they completed the first challenge of the run – crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge.


PS&S Supports the Cooper Foundation

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The PS&S team attended the Pink Roses/Teal Magnolias celebration and remembrance of life and survivorship of Breast and Ovarian Cancer coordinated by and hosted by the Cooper Foundation and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper University Hospital.

PS&S was a benefactor of the event and Marge DellaVecchia, Kris McCool and Vibhuti Bhimani attended on behalf of PS&S.

PS&S has been a longtime supporter and sponsor of this event, contributing to the region’s health and well-being, in addition to our contribution to its physical enhancements via our design engineering and architectural projects.

The event raised $800,000, all of which support research, complementary medicine, new technology, support services and the Cooper/MD Anderson Survivor Program and Patient in Need Fund … all of which are local. 

For more information go to:  https://foundation.cooperhealth.org/pinkandteal


Source: https://foundation.cooperhealth.org/pinkan...

Honored With Three Distinguished Engineering Awards At The NJ Alliance For Action


PS&S was honored to be recognized with three Distinguished Engineering Awards at the New Jersey Alliance for Action's Distinguished Engineering Awards program on October 20th.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of engineering investments were recognized for making New Jersey safer, cleaner and a better place to live and work. 

From left to right: Ron Weston, Marge DellaVecchia, John Sartor, John Vena, Michael Cohen, Glenn Kustera

From left to right: Ron Weston, Marge DellaVecchia, John Sartor, John Vena, Michael Cohen, Glenn Kustera


Steel Pier Observation Wheel:  Atlantic City, NJ - Presented to PS&S and Steel Pier

Steel Pier Observation Wheel:  Atlantic City, NJ - Presented to PS&S and Steel Pier

Union Lane 300,000 Gallon Pedespher Elevated Water Storage Tank:  Brielle, NJ - Presented to PS&S and the Borough of Brielle

Union Lane 300,000 Gallon Pedespher Elevated Water Storage Tank:  Brielle, NJ - Presented to PS&S and the Borough of Brielle

New Elliott Street Elementary School & Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School: Keansburg, NJ - Presented to PS&S and Hall Construction Co, Inc.

New Elliott Street Elementary School & Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School: Keansburg, NJ - Presented to PS&S and Hall Construction Co, Inc.

The Observation Wheel Rides Again: RealEstate NJ Details our work in Atlantic City


Engineering a solution: How PS&S helped create a path forward for Atlantic City’s iconic Steel Pier

A new 230-foot-tall observation wheel is the latest attraction at the historic Steel Pier in Atlantic City and was slated to open in early November. PS&S, a Warren-based architecture and engineering firm, was tapped last year to devise a solution that helped bring the project to life.

Source: https://re-nj.com/engineering-a-solution-h...

2017 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development


We are looking forward to this week’s 2017 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development; Building Foundations to Shape Communities.

PS&S is a Networking Reception Sponsor and we are hosting a reception on Thursday, October 6 from 5–7 PM in Harrah’s Conference Center. The Networking Reception is open to all in attendance.

Please come visit us in the Wildwood Ballroom of Harrah’s Conference Center at Booth #207.

Also: PS&S Senior Director Ron Weston will be a presenter on the panel:

It's Easy Being Green – It’s Also Great for Economic Development
Thursday, October 5, 2017 • 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Room: Wildwood 23 • Credits: CM I 1.25


PS&S in The Journal News and lohud.com

Yonkers Day.jpg

New Jersey architects, engineers open Yonkers office

A New Jersey architecture firm has opened its first Westchester County office in Yonkers.

PS&S offers architecture, engineering, design and environmental consulting services from a 12-person, 5,400-square-foot office at 1 Larkin Plaza.

The new location sits across from the daylighted Saw Mill River, for which PS&S provided engineering services.

Read more here.

Celebrating the grand re-opening of our Yonkers Office: PS&S in The Journal News and lohud.com

Source: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/west...

PS&S Day in Yonkers, NY


Thank you Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano for declaring September 27, 2017 as “PS&S Day” in celebration of the grand re-opening of our office at 1 Larkin Plaza. We are honored by the recognition and look forward to many years of serving Yonkers and Westchester County.


PS&S Participates in the 2017 Katz JCC Pro-Am

Katz JCC Pro-Am.jpg

PS&S Participated in the 2017 Katz JCC Pro-Am held at Galloway National Golf Course, in Galloway, NJ.

Mark Allen from the PS&S Delaware Valley office teamed up with other JCC members and golfers, for the benefit of the Katz JCC Camps at Medford Financial assistance fund and the Open Hearts/Open Doors Program for campers with special needs.

The special needs inclusion camp program provides accommodations for children with disabilities to fully participate with age-appropriate peers at the JCC Camps at Medford and Early Childhood Camps at the Katz JCC. Campers in the OH/OD program span a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and communication impairments.

PS&S is pleased to participate with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, the Katz JCC and the community to ensure that special campers have the ability to participate.

Katz Jcc Pro-Am program.jpg

PS&S Receives Design Award for Bronx School Project

Bronx School Street View Rendering.jpg

PS&S is pleased to announce that our Bronx School project, designed for the NYC School Construction Authority, received a 'Gold' design award at the AIA Newark & Suburban 2017 Design Awards competition. The design awards were presented at an AIA reception held on September 14th at Kean University’s Michael Graves School of Architecture in Union, New Jersey.


PS&S Yonkers Supports YPIE's 10th Anniversary Gala


The PS&S Yonkers office was out in full force to support the Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) 10th Anniversary Gala. YPIE was launched in 2007 to support students in the Yonkers Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in New York State. YPIE partners with the Yonkers Public School District, business and philanthropic communities and higher education institutions to support the thousands of Yonkers students as they prepare for college and launch successful careers.


PS&S Participates in the NJWEA’s Autumn Technology Transfer Seminar

Renard Barnes.jpg

PS&S’s General Counsel Renard Barnes participated in the New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA)’s Autumn Technology Transfer Seminar this week. Renard served as the instructor for the course “Professional Engineering Ethics and Case Studies.”

The NJWEA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water environment. Founded in 1915, the Association is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. With a membership of 2800 engineers, operators, scientists , students and other professionals, the NJWEA is an environmental leader in New Jersey.


NY’s Newest Elementary School Opens


PS&S is thrilled to see the opening of New York City’s newest school – PS 583 in the Bronx.

PS&S’s entire building group, including architecture, civil, structural, MEP and Geotech teams, designed and engineered this state-of-the-art elementary school, giving more than 450 children from the Parkchester and Soundview neighborhoods a new school to call home



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Spring 2017 Newsletter


It’s probably obvious to say, but one of the primary goals of any business is to make sure it stays in business…and grows. These days, there is a developing issue that if not addressed, can halt a company in its tracks: the significant increase in the number and scope of environmental compliance imperatives across all state and local regulatory environments.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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One of the areas affected is the installation of emergency generators. In the five years since Superstorm Sandy, businesses that have added generators or switched to larger generators or have added fuel for run times have all needed to make sure their work meets state and local compliance and permitting codes. Our environmental regulatory compliance team has been busy working with clients to provide quality counsel on all these matters. In this newsletter, our employee spotlight will focus on Chris Gulics, who came to PS&S in 2015, bringing more than 20 years of experience providing environmental regulatory compliance services to a variety of clients.

Our “In Focus” looks at a topic that many of us take for granted: clean drinking water. Recent headlines regarding lead in water in towns such as Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey have put the spotlight on how safe our water is. Many municipalities and public and private entities are looking to PS&S to make sure they are following all current regulations regarding testing and compliance, and with Chris Gulics and his team of professionals, we are confident they are in very good hands.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at asartor@psands.com, or John Sartor at jsartor@psands.com.

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It’s called the 8x8 rule: Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day to avoid dehydration and maintain your balance of body fluids. Water, after all, is a necessity of life. In a world where so many people have to travel miles to get their water from the nearest source, we are lucky to live in a country where clean, safe water is available at the turn of a tap.

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But in recent years, several high-profile stories have changed the way many Americans think about tap water, especially in places away from the familiarity of home such as malls, schools and hospitals. We first heard about the Flint, Michigan, water disaster in 2014 when the city of nearly 100,000 people switched water sources as a cost-cutting measure which led to tainted drinking water that contained lead and other toxins. Last year in New Jersey, Newark school officials broke the news that elevated levels of lead had been found in nearly half of the public schools. Prompted by the Flint crisis and the high lead results in Newark, the New Jersey Board of Education adopted rules last July requiring schools to test water fountains and other drinking water sources. The city of Newark wound up spending more than $1 million to test water sources across the city’s 65 public schools.

Lead in public water is a national issue and with the aging of the nation’s infrastructure – in this case pipes carrying water from the source to the tap – one that is not likely to go away. In the vast majority of cases, lead enters the drinking water through the water delivery system itself when it leaches from either lead pipes, fixtures containing lead, or lead solder. The leaching of lead is caused by corrosive properties in water. Very rarely is lead present in the sources of drinking water.

PS&S is a recognized leader in the field of water resources with a staff of talented professionals that can meet the technical requirements of any water challenge. Earlier this year, a large New Jersey Medical Center was told tests showed its drinking water contained elevated levels of lead, which was most likely leaching from the hospital’s own pipes and faucet fixtures. PS&S has worked with the hospital to upgrade both its well and water treatment systems.

“The Medical Center uses its well water as its primary source and relies on city water as a backup source,” said Chris Gulics, PS&S’s Senior Director of Environmental and Regulatory Compliance. “We are currently working with them to treat both supplies, meeting the challenge of additional sampling and permit compliance.”

“Our work follows our successful collaboration with another major New Jersey Healthcare System,” continued Gulics. “When tests at one of their locations showed elevated lead levels, PS&S’s water treatment team was called in to help fix the problem.”

Currently, there are thousands of miles of aging water lines providing water to buildings in New Jersey and other states. The PS&S professionals in its Water Resources and Environmental Regulatory Compliance teams are ready to help both public and private entities fix this costly and potentially unhealthy problem.

For more information, contact Chris Gulics at cgulics@psands.com.

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Let’s be honest: regulatory compliance is not exactly the sexiest profession out there. But it is certainly one of the most important if a business wants to stay in business.

Chris Gulics came to PS&S in 2015 along with three colleagues during a transitional period in the Monmouth/Ocean County engineering consulting world. Currently, Chris is the company’s Senior Director of Environmental Regulatory Compliance and heads up a team of five professionals whose job is to make sure our clients are following all regulatory permitting and compliance. Chris and his team know the current guidelines and regulations so our clients can focus on their businesses.

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“PS&S was doing this work before I arrived,” said Gulics. “But now, we have a core group that makes sure our clients are covered on all environmental and regulatory matters. We take care of operational permits, which are basically things clients must do in order to operate their businesses. There is a constant learning process to keep current on guidelines and regulations and to understand permitting. It’s easy to get the permit; it’s hard to make sure the client complies with the permit. So, our goal is to keep the clients from needing permitting if possible, and if not, we make it as easy as possible to operate within the conditions of the permit.”

Chris grew up in Woodbridge and went to Rutgers where he graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Water Resources. He now lives in Howell, which gives him great access to two of his favorite pastimes with his three sons ages 11, 13, and 15: fishing and the hitting the Point Pleasant beach.

In his 20-plus years working with clients, Chris has developed relationships with many professionals who are often able to recommend other PS&S services to their company.

“We start out doing work in one area and it leads to more,” said Gulics. “Relationships matter, and once you earn someone’s trust, they are much more likely to want to expand that working relationship. PS&S is truly a “one-stop shop.” Clients begin to realize that the longer we work with them. We are always looking to educating clients as to PS&S’s capabilities.”

One such client is a New Jersey- based behavioral health facility and a Chris Gulics client since 2000. In fact, the relationship goes back even further when Chris was involved in environmental work with the company’s current director of facilities at his prior employer. PS&S has made upgrades to the treatment plants and has worked on numerous environmental projects.

Besides Chris, there are four other professionals on the compliance team:

  • Steve Oliver – has been with PS&S for more than 30 years. Based in Warren, Steve focuses on air permitting and noise assessments;
  • Matt Mee – a project scientist based in Cherry Hill, Matt came to PS&S with Chris Gulics in 2015. Matt handles utilities, spill prevention and underground tanks;
  • Kristi Sorrentino – an environmental scientist based in Wall. Kristi works on drinking and wastewater compliance services;
  • Sean McCauley – based in Wall, Sean supports the team in the field.

One very important affiliation for Chris and PS&S is the relationship with the New Jersey Municipal Environmental Risk Management Fund (EJIF) which was established by property and casualty joint insurance funds to provide their member public entities and utility authorities with environmental coverage. Currently, Chris is one of the Fund’s two environmental engineers who help manage environmental risk associated with municipal operations such as insurance claims for more than 150 municipalities in NJ. This includes being on call 24/7 in the event of spills or discharges to soils, surface water or groundwater. This service was designed by the EJIF to provide guidance to its members to help in the immediate moments following an emergency.

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