Hudson County Community received $2.2 million in federal funds for a new 11-story, 153,186 square-foot academic tower in the Journal Square section of Jersey City.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we made a significant investment in technology to ensure our students could continue to make progress in achieving their academic goals by offering courses, programs, and services remotely and fully online,” HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber said in a statement.
“We determined that if we had the resources, we would apply those and other advanced technology principles to the tower. Thanks to the advocacy and support of our representatives in the United States Congress and Senate, HCCC has been awarded $2.2 million in federal funding to make this a reality. This will greatly benefit our students and the entire Hudson County community.”
The mixed-use tower will be constructed on an existing, HCCC-owned parking lot located between Enos Place and Jones Street. It will replace a handful of the college’s segregated, aging buildings along Sip Avenue from Jones Street to Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City.
Additionally, it will serve to consolidate programs and services provided in those buildings.
“HCCC plays a critical role in our community – serving a diverse population, promoting social and economic mobility, and helping students achieve the American Dream,” added former Congressman Albio Sires, now a West New York mayoral candidate, who had the atrium of the HCCC North Hudson campus named after him in April.
“This funding is an important part of my legacy as a Congressman, and I was proud to secure these resources that will provide high quality remote learning opportunities and increased access for students.”
The tower will include state-of-the-art classrooms, expanded spaces for student services, expanded and centralized offices for Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD), a full-size National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) gymnasium, fitness and wellness center, a University Center for sister colleges and universities to offer baccalaureate instruction at HCCC, and new workforce development healthcare lab, among other things.
In addition to the $2.2 million federal grant, Hudson County has committed up to $35 million in funding for the tower’s construction.
“The construction of this Academic Tower is a huge step forward in fulfilling the vision we laid out more than two decades ago of a Hudson County Community College capable of serving the needs of 21st century students, both now and in the decades to come,” noted Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“My thanks to Dr. Reber, his administration, and the Board of Trustees for their tireless efforts to move this project forward and to my friend, former Congressman Albio Sires, for securing a vital piece of the funding for it.”
Furthermore, Reber called the project “a game changer,” noting it’s the first step in the “Technology Advance Project.”
The endeavor will provide Immersive Telepresence Video (ITV) in the 24 classrooms of the new Tower.
ITV will allow synchronous learning classroom technology systems to connect remote students to in-class learning from home or across classrooms and campuses and will also reduce student travel from their home campus.
The college has also submitted applications valued at over $18 million to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) for funding from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund (HEFT) to cover the costs of many of the amenities.
“This academic tower will truly be a central resource for all members of the community, a place we can all point to with pride,” Dr. Reber stated.