Christie administration selects 32 higher education institutions to receive capital improvement grants

TRENTON, NJ — According to a press release from the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks has sent the Legislature her certified list of 35 higher education capital construction project grants that will boost technology, support the health sciences, and renovate laboratories and classrooms at 32 institutions across the state.

“We have made an historic commitment to funding higher education in this state, which is continued today with the award of a second round of grant funding to ensure that New Jersey’s colleges and universities have some of the best facilities in the nation,” Christie said.

Among the proposals are:

  • $20,000,000 for the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark for a major renovation and renewal project to support a collaborative learning environment for real world technology-focused education and improve the learning environment for all NJIT students, especially students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The renovations affect three major buildings: the Guttenberg Information Technologies Center, the Central Avenue Building and Faculty Memorial Hall. These buildings provide classroom, collaborative learning and laboratory space; they serve instruction, teamwork, experimentation, prototype development, design, testing and research.
  • $6,010,400 for Rowan University in Glassboro. The project involves development activity that displaces administrative spaces to propagate an increase of classrooms, laboratories, collaboration spaces and offices. Specifically, this project shifts spaces from the center of campus to the campus perimeter that will in turn make the vacated facilities available to be renovated accordingly, providing more centrally located and capacity-enhanced academic spaces. The project primarily consists of an addition and partial or entire adaptive reuse and/or rehabilitation of four buildings: Bunce and Bole halls on the southern perimeter of the campus and Savitz and Robinson halls in the central and northern area of the campus.
  • $9,989,600 for Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden for an expansion of the Joint Health Sciences Center. In December 2015, the Rowan/Rutgers-Camden board of governors was awarded $50 million in Biomedical Facilities Act funding by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for a four-floor structure to house a collaborative biomedical research and instructional facility. The facility, a Health Sciences Center, is intended as the first phase of the shared health sciences campus. This project would expand the initial facility by adding another floor to serve as an incubator space for interdisciplinary and integrative translational research. This proposal is being submitted in parallel with a General Obligation Bond Act proposal from Camden County College that also adds another floor to the center. Camden County College is proposing training programs in health services professions that will directly provide educational and employment opportunities to the community.
  • $9,500,000 for Rutgers-Newark for interior demolition, renovation and required infrastructure work in Olson Hall, a heavily-used chemistry lab teaching facility, to upgrade a number of labs in the basement and on the first floor. Infrastructure work includes upgrading HVAC and controls to provide 100-percent outside conditioned air, and replacing the individual roof-mounted B34 exhaust units with a centralized roof-mounted exhaust system. Approximately 6,000-square-feet of lab space will be improved as a result of the work.
  • $1,000,000 for Rutgers-Camden for an addition and renovation to the Artis Building, a collection of two row houses, to establish a new Center for Childhood Studies. The renovated building will include offices, conference and seminar rooms, a computer lab, lounge space, and support spaces for faculty, staff and students. The small addition to the building will include a new protected egress stair for improved building life safety. The building will undergo renovations to update critical building systems and add full accessibility to the building including new mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire protection systems; a new IT system including data, security cameras and alarms, and card access; a new A/V system with a full interactive multimedia learning experience; new casework, furniture, appliances and interior finishes; exterior envelope renovations; roof, doors and windows repaired or replaced; and new landscaping including paving, fencing, site furniture and lighting.
  • $4,500,000 for Rutgers University’s RWJMS Research Tower in Piscataway. The lowest level of this building, below grade, houses a significant animal research facility that supports critical research programs. The project entails vivarium improvements that would recover compromised animal housing and procedure spaces, provide zoned control of HVAC at animal spaces, establish a hub for cage maintenance and sterilization, and maximize housed mouse populations. Potential animal facility accreditation concerns would be abated as a result of the work. The work includes smaller-scale targeted infrastructure upgrades, HVAC upgrades for the entire facility, animal room electrical upgrades, exterior envelope waterproofing integrity improvements, interior finish work, and a cage wash upgrade.
  • $3,000,000 for Kean University in Union for a project that entails the construction of a new 50,000-square-foot Academic Center for History located near the Liberty Hall Museum on Kean’s Liberty Hall Campus. The center will create a space dedicated to the history and arts of Kean University and the surrounding metropolitan community. The center will feature permanent exhibits, rotating exhibits such as the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibits, and dedicated academic space; a 7,000-square-foot exhibit hall and three galleries; six academic classrooms; a conference room and an open work area; 13 faculty offices for the history department; and a 2,100-square-foot Historic Research Library, which will provide documents, letters, memorabilia and other items for student and faculty research.
  • $7,000,000 for Montclair State University in Montclair for a major renovation and expansion of a 52-year old, 34,400-square-foot building into a state-of-the-art 43,800-square-foot instructional and research facility for the computer sciences. The project will add a fourth floor to the existing building and will repurpose the existing space to house classrooms for students taking courses or pursuing degrees in computer science and information technology, faculty offices, meeting and student study and project space, and a wide range of highly specialized instructional spaces, such as that for cyber security and forensic and data science and specialized research labs.
  • $5,222,725 for New Jersey City University in Jersey City for the renovation and transformation of an existing building into the Nursing Education Center for students seeking professional careers in health care. The project will provide seven state-of-the-art simulation labs with two control rooms, four low fidelity bed labs, two brief/debrief rooms, student project areas for formal and informal collaboration, a home care simulation lab, a mock quarantine/clean room, six general classrooms equipped with smart technology, two computer labs/testing labs, as well as office space and support spaces for faculty and staff.
  • $15,000,0000 for the Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah for a complete renovation of the existing library and construction of a 43,650-square-foot addition to create an “information commons.” The project will increase group study and meeting rooms, gathering and study spaces, space for library collections and stacks, and classroom/multipurpose space. The building will house college centers and special collections. The project scope includes computer labs, a complete technology upgrade and a multipurpose room for large workshops, conferences and academic seminars.
  • $22,000,000 for Stockton University in Atlantic City for the construction of additional academic classrooms and student support space to serve programs in business, health sciences, social work and the general studies courses that support all academic offerings. The project includes the renewal and improvement of the existing property and construction of an academic classroom building on the site of the former Atlantic City High School; and the renewal and improvement of existing property and construction of a residence facility on the site of a former commercial building. The academic classroom building will include the construction of a three-story, 56,000-square-foot academic classroom facility that will include several general purpose classrooms, a trading room classroom, a diagnostic laboratory, and academic/special event spaces.
  • $8,000,000 for The College of New Jersey in Ewing for the renovation of Armstrong Hall, home to TCNJ’s School of Engineering. The renovation will provide critically needed lab and program spaces not accommodated by the new science, technology, engineering and math building on campus and remedy the deficiencies that exist with the current structure.
  • $170,000 for Thomas Edison State University in Trenton to make facility improvements in the university’s Kelsey/Townhouse Complex. Improvements include the entryway and paver replacement including demolition and installation of new concrete sidewalks to address important safety issues.
  • $7,056,906 for William Paterson University in Wayne for the complete reconstruction of Hunziker Hall and Hunziker Wing to provide state-of-the-art general-use classrooms in the academic core of campus for use by disciplines within a number of colleges; academic support offices to reinforce instruction offered in the building; and critical-need laboratory, classroom and collaborative student and faculty research space for programmatic expansion in the kinesiology department.
  • $1,000,000 for Bloomfield College in Bloomfield for roof replacement and roof structure repair work on Westminster Hall. The building houses the creative arts and technology academic division, the 350-seat Van Fossan Theater, computer labs and classroom space.
  • $920,520 for Caldwell University in Caldwell for the renovation and repurposing of unused locker rooms to create a dedicated art therapy facility with classrooms, work spaces, faculty offices, upgraded bathrooms, handicapped-accessible stair lift, and upgraded fine arts studios for students seeking art therapy degrees.
  • $38,295 for Centenary College in Hackettstown for the conversion of space in the college’s Lackland Center to create a permanent and interactive STEM classroom for students in the education department; this space will have technologies such as audio/video, student laptop table with laptop PCs and monitors, smart boards, white boards, green screen and more. Students will collaborate with local school districts to help them implement the interactive STEM classroom model into their curriculum.
  • $350,000 for the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown for the renewal and renovation of classrooms and support areas in Henderson Hall, which houses programs in science and health related professions; renewal of outdated and currently unused physics lab into a student computer lab; renewal of outdated restrooms in Henderson Hall; and improvements to outdated restrooms and showers in O’Connor residence hall to accommodate transition to co-educational status in fall 2016.
  • $1,000,000 to Drew University in Madison for the renovation and relocation of the Math and Science Resource Center within the Hall of Sciences buildings; the project will include flexible learning/meeting spaces as well as a new staircase connecting the spaces. Additionally, the money will assist in the entire renovation of two biology teaching labs on the first floor of the Hall of Sciences.
  • $2,854,095 for Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park for the renovation and rehabilitation of the third floor of 230 Park Ave., which requires renovation for the School of Pharmacy to meet current safety and code requirements as well as for the university health sciences program needs. The School of Pharmacy Interprofessional Center will house programs in pharmacy, nursing and additional future programs in the health sciences. The space will feature a simulation lab equipped with patient simulators and a simulated cadaver lab, student learning space to promote collaborative study and small group learning, communal learning spaces, breakout rooms and other small group study spaces.
  • $500,000 for Felician University in Lodi to restore and renovate sections of Martin and Sammartino halls to transform current vacant lecture space and administrative offices into state-of-the-art learning facilities to serve student academic and career development needs. The School of Business will be relocated to Martin Hall. Renovations will provide related space for classrooms, academic support, student business advisement and a business simulation lab. Two lecture halls in Sammartino Hall will be updated to become collaborative advanced lecture halls equipped to function as Internet-TV classrooms with two-way multimedia communications.
  • $568,133 for Georgian Court University in Lakewood for the renovation and renewal of Farley Center for the removal of the existing roof system to significantly extend useful life of vital classroom/academic structure; the library for an entirely new roof system; and Maria Hall for the complete renovation of bathrooms throughout the building.
  • $5,000,000 for Monmouth University in West Long Branch for the total renovation of the three-story Edison Science Building and the demolition, reconstruction and expansion of the Link part of the building. Renovation includes all classrooms, labs, research areas, study areas and faculty offices. A vivarium and herbarium will be constructed in the building to support research; the Urban Coast Institute will be located in the building. The project will result in an increased number of research labs, classrooms and study areas, a welcoming lobby and auditorium.
  • $1,000,000 for Rider University in Lawrence to upgrade existing instructional spaces within Rider’s Science and Technology Center, including eight science instructional spaces, adjacent passageways, a lecture hall with instructional technology, three multi-purpose labs, one advanced computer lab, a lab preparation space, a science classroom with moveable workstations, a vivarium, two vestibules and a central corridor.
  • $1,000,000 for Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City for capital improvements to Dinneen Hall, Gannon Hall, Pope Hall and O’Toole Library, along with technology infrastructure improvements through the IT Data Center. The project comprises upgrades and renovations to these existing facilities and includes upgrades that vary from roof replacement, new energy efficient windows and facade restoration, to interior expansion programming that will support the School of Business located in Dinneen Hall. Upgrades will enhance the most heavily utilized academic buildings, will address deferred capital maintenance and meet state and federal health, safety, fire and building code standards.
  • $1,500,000 for Seton Hall University in South Orange for a project that comprises climate, safety and ease-of-access renovations and includes chiller, pump and coil replacements in Walsh Library; elevator renovations in Fahy Hall and the University Center; and Boiler House steam line and valve renovations leading to the university’s Richard Regan Recreation Center. The existing equipment has passed its useful life, is energy-inefficient and does not provide the optimal environment from either cost or climate perspectives. The renovations will provide a safer, more comfortable and more energy efficient environment for students, employees and visitors.
  • $19,250,000 for the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken for the Academic Gateway Project, which will replace an obsolete and deteriorating three-story building and a surface parking lot with a new instructional and research building. The project consists of a pair of four-story buildings connected by a two-story sky bridge and will contain 11 high-tech “smart” classrooms, the computer science department, instructional and research facilities, faculty/researcher offices, and four major labs.
  • $1,200,000 for Brookdale Community College in Middletown for the renovation and modernization of the first floor of the main academic south building to provide cutting-edge equipment for five labs in general science, anatomy and physiology and environmental science. The existing labs will be updated with current technologies, modern lab benches, improved space utilization, energy efficient HVAC and lighting, electrical upgrades, audio visual upgrades, information technology and data upgrades, installation of acoustical ceilings, new microscopes and refrigerators, wireless capabilities in all labs, lab appropriate flooring and will meet current barrier-free standards for accessibility.
  • $5,100,000 for Rowan College in Pemberton for the interior renovation and instructional expansion of the existing science building and Briggs Road Center. The renovated spaces will be dedicated to health sciences and science, math and technology departments. The renovated spaces in the science building will include converting the bookstore into labs and a student lounge into a classroom. The renovated spaces in Briggs Road Center include converting the alternative high school into faculty offices and the occupational and physical therapy program.
  • $5,800,000 for Camden County College in Blackwood to advance the development of a 16,250-square-foot Health Careers Education Facility focused on educating and training residents of Camden. This facility will be built as part of and in addition to an already funded and shovel-ready Joint Health Science Center being advanced by the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden board of governors.
  • $4,500,000 for Rowan College in Sewell for the Rowan College Center, a 18,523-square-foot facility using green and sustainable design concepts and state-of-the-art technology. The facility will provide a home for the expanding Rowan Choice program. Improvements will include eight classrooms, a student support office suite, a student lounge and restrooms.
  • $1,200,000 for Passaic County Community College in Paterson for the renovation of a recently purchased, vacant warehouse on the college’s main campus into an advanced technology center that supports technical skills training for low-income residents in northern New Jersey. The facility will create a home for the college’s new and existing applied technology programs, where students participate in hands-on training activities to develop technical skills and competencies required in business and industry.
  • $3,120,203 for Sussex County Community College in Newton for the construction of a new academic building, “Building F,” which will be a four-story, 17,000-square-foot building that will house 12 academic classrooms. The completed academic center will accommodate electronic classrooms and technological infrastructure.
  • $3,961,671 for Union County College in Plainfield for the completion of Phase II of the college’s Health Sciences Building in support of expansion plans. Completion will provide space for three high-priority allied-health programs, new computer classrooms and work stations for all campus programs and will open up additional classrooms in another building for general education classes. Specifically, a new respiratory therapy program will be added, the physical therapist assistant program will be improved and expanded, two new computer classrooms will support a new health information technology program and 18 additional open access work stations will be constructed.
  • $2,000,000 for Warren County Community College in Washington for the construction of a 9,454-square-foot, two-story classroom building annex, which will include a 232-seat lecture hall, a 48-station computer learning lab, two 25-seat classrooms, two student/faculty meeting rooms, four instructor offices, a small student study area, a unisex ADA-accessible restroom facility, along with male and female restrooms.

The projects were submitted to the Legislature for further consideration.

“I am very pleased to recommend the approval of 35 excellent projects that will improve our campus facilities and enhance the education of many of the more than 400,000 students earning their degrees in New Jersey,” Hendricks said.

In August 2012, Christie signed legislation placing a $750 million General Obligation construction bond question on the ballot. Voters approved the bond authorization three months later. This most recent award of $180 million uses the remaining $34 million in General Obligation bonds from the Building Our Future Act and adds $146 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund. The Legislature has 60 days to consider the General Obligation bond projects and 45 days to consider the CIF projects. If the Legislature takes no action, the projects will be approved.