SUMMIT, NJ - The restored Auditorium at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) was celebrated via a Grand Re-Opening event, which saw its lobby dedicated and the firm responsible for the project acknowledged for their work and a related industry honor.

Hosted by former LCJSMS Principal and current District Director of Human Resources, Matt Block, the evening included music, historical background of the auditorium. and words from the Abut family, who funded the Auditorium Lobby in remembrance of their son, Santiago. 

In addition, Cedar Knolls-based EI Associates, the architecture firm responsible for the restoration and renovation of the LCJSMS Auditorium, was lauded for their efforts, which last month earned them a 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Design Competition Award. 

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The Auditorium project was the winner in the “Honor Built Historic Preservation” category. EI Associates, along with Architect Richard Basta, were among those recognized at an awards ceremony in October.

“It is truly remarkable to see the LCJSMS Auditorium at the conclusion of this restoration project,” said Mr. June Chang, Superintendent of Summit Schools. “I think this venue is an asset, not just to the LCJSMS staff and students, but to the Summit community as a whole.”

“The goal of the project was to restore the auditorium to its original 1920s condition, while carefully incorporating modern amenities,” said Michael Wozny of EI Associates. “As a result, the staff and students have a state-of-the-art venue, which will support the theater arts, chorus and music programs for years to come.”

Other notable winners of this year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Design Competition were Dietrich Hall at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Newark and the Community Center Long Branch.

“Our collective ability to preserve and ensure the integrity of this period's architecture, while promoting usable instructional space marks the success of the project and our gratitude to all involved,” said Louis J. Pepe, RSBA Assistant Superintendent for Business.