Gov. Chris Christie recently joined Richard Stockton College of New Jersey President Herman Saatkamp, Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks, Student Senate President Carl Archut Jr. and Stockton’s Board of Trustees for a groundbreaking of a $28.62 million expansion that will nearly double the size of the Unified Science Center at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Gov. Christie noted that his administration had prioritized investing in higher education, and said a total of $1.2 billion from two bond acts approved by voters will be used for public colleges.
He said it was “very unfortunate that the state had waited 25 years to contribute” funding for higher education construction, but added: “The most important thing is we’re actually doing things…to be able to give (students) a world-class education.”
Gov. Christie said there are “176 different projects happening at 46 colleges in New Jersey,” and this infusion of capital “will help stabilize tuition and fees.”
The governor noted that New Jersey has the third highest percentage of residents in the nation with degrees from four-year colleges, which helps attract industry. He called Stockton’s new building “an investment in our young men and women” and in the state’s economy. Gov. Christie said he knew Stockton would staff the facility with “top-notch faculty” and ensure that students get an excellent education “to help our state to create a lasting legacy.”
“Now let’s go move some dirt around,” the governor said, referring to the traditional groundbreaking ceremony using shovels.
The 54,000-square-foot expansion project, referred to as the Unified Science Center2 (“Unified Science Center Squared”) to acknowledge its emphasis on science and math, will be supported by $21.465 million in funding from the Building Our Future Bond Act approved by voters in 2012. The bond act requires that the college pay 25 percent, or $7.155 million of the total $28.62 million cost.
The three-story expansion will include labs for teaching and research, a greenhouse, computer labs, faculty offices and a vivarium.