Governor Chris Christie joined The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) officials for the grand opening of the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) building that will create opportunities for generations of students to excel in the most in-demand careers.
This 89,000-square-foot facility is providing modern, innovative laboratory and classroom spaces and houses the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering. It was made possible with voter-approved Building Our Future Bonds, known as GO Bonds – a $750 million Act from which TCNJ received a $40 million grant.
“Students from all over the state are benefiting from the investments we committed to in 2012, when Senate President Steve Sweeney and I joined in a bipartisan effort to create the finest higher education system in the country that is a vital link to the economic growth and competitiveness of our state,” Governor Christie said. “TCNJ’s STEM Building is preparing undergraduates with the skills and knowledge required to play an essential role in the health science pipeline. That is critical because within the next decade, overall demand for scientists and engineers in New Jersey is expected to increase at twice the rate of all other occupations.”
TCNJ’S new STEM Complex includes:
- The Computer Science Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Suite, which accommodates a wide array of research areas from networking and security to computer imaging and grid computing;
- The High-Performance Scientific Computing Cluster, which links approximately 300 servers together, providing a platform for the intensive computing needs of faculty and student researchers;
- The Robotics Laboratory, used for design, research, and teaching on a variety of topics;
- The Biomedical Engineering Research Suite, which features biosafety level 2 facilities that provide for sophisticated experiments in support of research including neural engineering and prosthetics, tissue engineering, physiological control systems, and hemocompatibility.
- The Mechanical Engineering Design Studio that enables students to fully develop their complex designs from concept through validation; and
- Many informal learning spaces, such as student commons and open study rooms.
Additionally, there is a multidisciplinary super laboratory suite as well as a suite of two organic chemistry labs, with storage rooms and a prep lab, and dedicated study spaces. A glass-enclosed Forum enjoins this new STEM building with the existing Biology Building.
An additional $1 million for this facility was awarded from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund. Another $24 million was awarded from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund, as well as $10 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund to assist with renovation of the college’s Science Complex and Engineering Building, including Armstrong Hall.
The GO Bond Act was the first state-backed funding for higher education construction in 25 years and authorized up to $750 million in state grants for new academic facilities. Combined with grant funding made available from other state-supported grant programs for higher education facilities, the Christie Administration authorized nearly $1.3 billion in grants in 2013 for 176 projects at 46 institutions to create cutting-edge research laboratories, computerized classrooms, and cyber networks that allow students and faculty to interact with colleagues around the world.
Last year, a second round of funding for higher education construction projects was awarded totaling $180 million for 35 projects at 32 higher education institutions. The projects selected in Round Two were focused on academic programs with an emphasis on STEM.