Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guarini has donated $10 million towards the Liberty Science Center’s SciTech Scity project, which was matched with a $5 million contribution from LSC Board Co-Chair David Barry.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The expansion will start now w/plans including university partners, wet labs, maker spaces, visiting scientist residencies, a school, conference center, and more. This will get us started and proves that the idea is not only viable but will happen! More to come! #JerseyCity,” Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted this morning.
Guarini’s $10 million contribution is the largest ever to LSC and for his generosity, the 30-acre SciTech Scity campus will now be named the Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus.
The announcement came at last night’s first ever “Genius of New Jersey” event at LSC, where Guarini was one of several nominees.
“LSC’s mission is key to New Jersey’s economic future, which depends on more high school and college students going into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” LSC CEO Paul Hoffman said at the event, per their Twitter page.
Barry, also the president and CEO of real estate giant Ironstate Development Company, expressed enthusiasm about playing a real in the SciTech Scity endeavor.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity to develop something great for Jersey City,” Barry also said last night.
This is the first major news about the estimated $280 million project since January 2018, where Ernst & Young became the founding sponsor by donating $2 million.
The Jersey City Council approved a measure back in March 2017 transferring city owned land to the local redevelopment agency so that SciTech Scity could be built.
Some residents spoke out against the project, arguing that the 12 or so acres of land was being severely undervalued, but many still spoke in favor of the development and the governing body ultimately still approved it.
Hoffman said at the time that $78 million will come from philanthropists, with another $55 million coming from investors.
For the time being, the first phase of the campus is slated to open by the end of 2022.