NJCU kicking off $10M fundraising campaign to for new Guarini performing arts center

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New Jersey City University is officially kicking off their $10 million fundraising campaign to build the Caroline and Frank Guarini, Sr. Performing Arts Center (PAC) following a $10 million donation from the former congressman last month.

New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson and former U.S. Rep. Frank Guarini. Photo courtesy of NJCU.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The campaign’s foundation builds on Guarini’s historic $10 million donation, with $5 million serving as the lead gift for the PAC.

“I am so proud to launch this campaign to raise the necessary funds to complete this game changing project for the benefit of our vibrant community. Frank’s generous and transformative $10 million gift, the largest in the University’s history, provides us with the critical financial support necessary to take these exciting final steps,” NJCU President Sue Henderson said in a statement.

“A performing arts center of this scale and the programming it will provide has largely been out of reach to many in our community. Exposure and involvement in the arts has been proven to be a critical part of proper educational and social development.”

Furthermore, Frank Guarini will serve as the honorary chair for the endeavor.

“It is an honor to have my parents associated with this groundbreaking and ambitious project. In addition to transforming the area and bringing jobs and added revenue to the city and the county, I know that this initiative will provide everyone with a special place to gather and be inspired,” he added.

“Since Dr. Henderson arrived at NJCU, her energy, vision and enthusiasm has led to many positive changes and this project is just one of many. She is a catalyst for growth and it has been an empowering experience to be a part of it. It’s a privilege to call her a colleague and friend.”

The goal of $10 million will be raised over a period of 2 years. Once completed, the PAC will serve as a world-class, 25,437 square-foot theatrical showplace comprising a 492-seat theatre, complete with orchestra pit and fly stage and a 100-seat recital hall.

Additionally, there will be two large dance studios for both rehearsal and performances with exterior glass walls looking out to a large public plaza, performers’ dressing rooms, scenery fabrication shop and storage, grand lobby and special event space.

The Guarini PAC will serve as the cornerstone for NJCU’s University Place, the $400 million redevelopment project to revitalize and develop 22-acres on Jersey City’s West Side.

The development will feature a 425 bed Residence Hall, 52,305 square feet of Educational Space and 25,437 square feet of Entertainment Space with four additional mixed-used properties to include 700 condominiums and 90,000 square feet of Dining and Retail space made possible by $250M in private investments.

The initiative will lay the foundation to become a community of 1,600 residents and students and a destination for educational, cultural and entertainment opportunities, as well as new retail and dining establishments.

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