Newark, New Jersey

The Vision

The construction of the Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology brought a new level in career technical education to Newark, New Jersey. Named for the late educator and congressman, the school offers students classes that serve as steppingstones to programs offered by local colleges and universities.

More than 1,100 students attend the school. Its three-story footprint is 320,000 square feet and holds 58 traditional classrooms and 30 larger spaces for specialized programs including the building trades. Students can choose from a wide variety of technical programs that include music production, cyber security, culinary arts, forensic sciences, green energy, and cosmetology.

The facility’s size required several rooftop air handling units to meet the ventilation needs. Wanting to maintain 
a clean look for the rooftop, specifications called for using louver screens to hide the equipment from view. The contractor selected Airolite’s inverted blade louver screen, model ENCB609 to hide the equipment from view and offer an attractive appearance for people looking at the facility.


The Airolite Look…

The specifications called for using more than 1,500 linear feet of louver screens to hide the rooftop equipment in more than seven locations on the roof. Airolite’s model ENCB6096 with its horizontal and inverted blades and six-inch depth offered an ideal aesthetic look while ensuring people saw none of the equipment on the roof. Many sections of the louvers had varying height dimensions. The neighborhood around the school also posed a challenge to the setup and installation of the louvers. Fully-assembled louvers in shipment crates were too large to navigate the narrow streets and surrounding property. Contractors asked if the louvers could be delivered in a knocked down (unassembled) form on three separate shipments.

The staggered delivery schedule required coordination between Airolite and the contractors to ensure the louver screens were available when needed. Airolite coordinated the special crating, sequencing and labeling for a smooth and easy install. Since the screens were unassembled, the blades needed to be snapped in place on the louver “tree,” long brackets on which the blades are attached. This assembly required precise placement to maintain the continuous straight lines created by the louver blades. The contractor used a laser to ensure the lines of the louver blades were straight. 


That Works 

Airolite louver screen ENCB6096 is a versatile, horizontal and inverted blade louver screen that functions extremely well as a sight and security barrier. Its inverted blades help deflect sound upward and away from the surrounding neighborhood, keeping rooftop equipment noise to a minimum.

The completion of the Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology was on time and under budget. Several factors contributed. Many cited Airolite’s ability to work with contractors and deliver the louver screen in the knockdown form. The well-marked, knockdown crating allowed for on-time delivery and easy assembly without overwhelming the assembly area because of narrow streets and limited space. Others mentioned the long spans of the screen.  They remarked how it not only hid rooftop equipment but added to the sleek design of the building.



  • Architects:

    DiCara Rubino Architects, Wayne, NJ

  • Airolite Representative:

    The Lenehan Group, Devon, PA