HCST votes to have ‘Liberty Science Center High School’ as part of SciTech Scity project

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The Hudson County Schools of Technology board recently voted to have the “Liberty Science Center High School” become a part of the $280 million SciTech Scity project.

Photo courtesy of the City of Jersey City.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The state-of-the-art school will be built in Jersey City next to Liberty Science Center and will include a robust set of skill-centric classes for students in grades 9 through 12.

Under the new collaboration, the HCST will oversee operations at the new public county magnet high school to provide 400 science-talented high school students from across Hudson County with a curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that will leverage a work education program around the 200-plus technology startup companies and entrepreneurs that will set up shop at SciTech Scity.

“We are revolutionizing what public education can accomplish, and this partnership with the county is a significant step towards our vision of creating an ecosystem of innovation to educate and inspire future entrepreneurs and scientists,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a joint statement.

“The students will also gain direct access to businesses onsite for unique internship opportunities to further cultivate their career paths. Overall, SciTech Scity will establish Jersey City as a worldwide destination for innovative forward-thinkers, bringing thousands of jobs and countless opportunities to our area.”

Jersey City donated 12-and-a-half acres to SciTech Scity and will provide financial assistance for school operating costs.

To date, LSC has raised $27 million in philanthropic donations for the innovation campus, including $5 million specifically for the public high school.

The $5 million is the result of a generous $2.5 million matching grant donation from John and Laura Overdeck, officials said.

They plan to break ground on SciTech Scity in 2021 and open the first phase, including the Edge Works incubator, in 2023. Edge Works will provide nearly 100,000 square feet of research labs, private studios, open workspaces, and a conference center.

Another onsite component will be Scholars Village, a residential component for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and their families.

“We are excited to work with the county and the city to create a world-class science high school. The students will have access to LSC’s unique assets, like our Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and to internships and mentorships at the cutting-edge startup companies in our Edge Works business incubator,” added LSC President and CEO Paul Hoffman.

“Hudson County is home to many of the most talented students in New Jersey, and it is critical we provide them with opportunities and resources to advance their future careers,” noted Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.

As per the resolution, which was approved last Monday, HCST will consult with the Liberty Science Center on program development, curriculum, and hiring of staff.

“… Our vision for this campus mirrors our commitment to providing students with an actively engaging, Career and Technical Education learning experience. We look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build an innovative school for Hudson County students,” said HCST Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez.

Also under the new partnership, the Hudson County Improvement Authority will be designated as the developer to construct the school.

“The Hudson County Improvement Authority, as it has always done, is availing itself to the county and its partners in order to assist in the development and financial planning of a new high school in Jersey City,” HCIA CEO Norman Guerra stated.

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