Hudson County Community College opened a new $25.9 million, 70,070 square-foot science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building in Jersey City earlier today.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“STEM studies offer the greatest opportunities for well-paying, long-lasting careers and economic growth,” said HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert in a statement.
“We wanted a building that reflects our commitment to STEM and our students. One that is comfortable, secure, learning-focused, has the newest and best technologies, and encourages the kind of collaboration that leads to innovations that can improve life in the future.”
The new STEM facility, located at 263 Academy St., includes 14 general classrooms; 10 science labs for the study of microbiology, genetics, and engineering; an open lobby design; an outdoor collaborative space; a multi-purpose room, and offices for administrative officials.
Furthermore, state-of-the-art equipment includes autoclaves, incubators, ionizers, explosion-proof refrigerators and vacuum ovens were built into the labs. The new facility is expected to accommodate between 700 to 750 students.
“We had several meetings with each department to ascertain what they’d like from a new facility,” added RSC Architects Project Manager Kenneth Mihalik.
“Each department stressed the need for larger spaces to fit an increasing roster of students and offer even more learning activities and opportunities than before.”
RSC designed classrooms and labs of various sizes, also creating an exterior of the building made of curved glass and a curved roof to make it stand out from the traditional box-shaped buildings in the area.
“Building a large facility in the middle of an urban center like Jersey City is always tricky because of complex building code requirements. We had to get creative with the way we laid out the floor plan to maximize the space and maintain the high quality of the facility’s learning spaces,” Mihalik continued.
The STEM Division of Hudson County Community College offers Associate in Science degree programs that prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions. Additionally, there are Associate of Applied Science and certificate programs that ready students for careers immediately after graduation.