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

Provident Bank Foundation Helps NJIT Students Bring Design Skills to Communities Affected by Hurricane Sandy

The Provident Bank Foundation announced a $25,000 grant to NJIT in support of the new Center for Resilient Design, a program where students travel to different areas of the state to lend their design expertise to homeowners, businesses and municipalities affected by and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

Coordinated through NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, the program provides state and local leaders, business owners and residents with actionable, 21st Century, ready-to-build designs and expertise for disaster recovery in damaged areas.

The program created approximately 20 remote design studios through late March in locations like Asbury Park and Union Beach.  Students and faculty are helping develop design guidelines, while using drawings and computer models to show how buildings would appear at new federal flood elevations.

“Over the last four months, NJIT's College of Architecture and Design has made significant progress in providing resilient design services to towns, state and federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals.  Thanks to support from The Provident Bank Foundation, our Center for Resilient Design has been able to help many communities along the Jersey Shore, in Newark and in Bergen and Hudson Counties in rebuilding sustainable and resilient homes, businesses and public facilities,” said Thomas G. Dallessio, Resilient Design project manager.

The program’s three main initiatives include: (Re)Build New Jersey Strong, a weeklong community service effort that took place during Spring Break, where more than 600 NJIT students, faculty and alumni came together to help residents, businesses and government officials recover and rebuild; Developing resilient “prototypologies,” where more than 1,000 students and faculty, in studios based in local communities, are currently producing actual designs and models for housing, mixed-use development and public facilities at a range of scales and locations; Establishing a clearinghouse of information and contacts for officials, residents, businesses, NGOs and other academic institutions to share information, expertise and assistance.

The work has taken the students to places ranging from Newark, where they are helping reinforce a library in the city's Ironbound section, to Brick Township, where they are involved in redesigning a housing complex decimated by flooding and fire.

“Students are taking what they have learned in the classroom and bringing it to damaged areas to assist in recovery efforts,” said Jane Kurek, executive director at The Provident Bank Foundation.  “NJIT is uniquely qualified to undertake this effort and provide a public service to New Jersey residents.  We are amazed at these initiatives and pleased to be able to support this program.”  For more information about NJIT’s new Resilient Design Program, visit http://design.njit.edu/news/resilientdesign.php.  More information about The Provident Bank Foundation is available at www.ProvidentNJFoundation.org.

The Provident Bank Foundation was established by New Jersey’s oldest bank in 2003 to enhance the quality of life in New Jersey through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other organizations that provide services in communities served by The Provident Bank.  Since its founding, the Foundation has provided more than $17.5 million in grants for programs focusing on education, health, wellness, recreation, arts and social and civic services.

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.