Mercer County Community College (MCCC) has added another chapter to higher education in downtown Trenton with the official opening of the Trenton Hall Annex, a modern, three-story building focusing on high-tech career opportunities at the college’s James Kerney Campus (JKC).
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the new building, and also served as a celebration of recent development projects in downtown Trenton. The morning began with the “Moving Forward Bus Tour,” sponsored by Greater Trenton, which was followed by a ribbon cutting attended by elected officials and business leaders, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, NJ Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, and Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson.
“This is a new beginning for Mercer’s Trenton Campus,” said Dr. Jianping Wang, president of MCCC. “This project is about the future of our college, our community, and our students, and creating educational opportunities for the most in-demand jobs.”
The Trenton Hall Annex features state-of-the-art technology, with classrooms to provide instruction for the new Security Systems Technology and Cyber Security programs, as well as space for existing programs for Certified Nurse Assistant, Phlebotomy, and EKG (electrocardiogram) Technician prep. The building is connected to the recently-renovated Trenton Hall, which opened in 2012.
“The Trenton Hall Annex continues the recent expansion of our downtown campus that is providing new educational opportunities for our residents, especially those living right here in the City of Trenton,” Executive Hughes said. “With this commitment to downtown Trenton, Mercer County Community College is sending a clear message that our capital city is on the move, with new opportunities for the residents of Mercer County.”
Total cost for the construction of the 8,500-square-foot Trenton Hall Annex is $5.9 million, which includes demolition of the building previously on the site and renovations to the adjacent Trenton Hall. Initial funding for the project was made possible by the Building Our Future Bond Act, passed by voters in 2012.
“Today we see many great things happening in downtown Trenton – more opportunities for businesses, new places to live, and now, additional opportunities to learn,” Mayor Jackson said. “Nothing is more important in moving a community forward than the power of education.”
The opening of the facility coincides with a recent push at MCCC to enhance opportunities for a technology-driven workforce, including scholarship opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students; “earn as you learn” relationships with the Security Industry Association, Genesis Biotechnology Group in Hamilton and Domain Computers in Cranbury; and an Advanced Manufacturing Technology facility that will open on the West Windsor Campus later this year.
Gov. Christie praised the efforts of the college to advance a technology-focused curriculum, and for its investment in Trenton.
“The opening of Trenton Hall is another step toward creating a dynamic downtown environment in Trenton, one that benefits residents, workers, and students,” Christie said. “The Trenton Hall Annex is also a large investment in our state’s higher education infrastructure, focusing on STEM growth areas, such as Cyber Security, Security Systems Technology, and medical programs.
“A portion of the project was paid for with voter-approved Building Our Future Bond Act funds, meant to enhance and build new cutting-edge learning facilities to prepare students with the skills they need to compete in this 21st century economy. The programs available now at the Annex will go a long way toward our ‘65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future’ initiative to equip at least 65 percent of the state’s workforce with a college degree or industry-valued credential by 2025.”Related Articles: