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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Students Learn, Brick by Brick, from Masonry Craftsmen

  WHAT: This weekend, a team of 40 masonry craftsmen will visit New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to teach more than 100 architecture students how to build walls using techniques such as plastering, mortaring, and laying and cutting brick. The students, divided into nine teams, will compete in the Masonry Design Build Competition, in which they must build parts of a cultural center.

WHO: The students all attend the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT.  The 40 masons come to NJIT courtesy of The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey and The International Masonry Institute.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And on Monday, April 4, at 6 p.m., a team of judges will announce three winning teams that will divide $20,000 in prize money.  Reporters who would like to observe the masons working with the students or attend the judging please call Robert Florida at 201-725-6435.

WHERE: On the promenade of Weston Hall, at the corner of Warren and Summit Streets, on the NJIT campus. Parking is available in the NJIT Parking Deck on Summit Street.

BACKGROUND: The contest is less about prizes and more about bridging the gap between future architects and the masons. Teaching novice architects the practical aspects of working with masonry materials is the premise behind the competition.  In the contest, the students will build part of a cultural center that could hypothetically be installed in the Newark’s Ironbound section. They will build the fragments of the cultural centers on nine concrete foundations that line the promenade of Weston Hall, site of the architecture school. The foundations are 6 feet wide by 8 feet long.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.