When Hudson County Community College (HCCC) began formulating plans to build a STEM Building on its Journal Square Campus in Jersey City, the College’s Trustees, administrators and faculty wanted a structure that would incorporate all of the newest technologies with today’s best architectural design. As always, the College sought to design a building that would blend with the architecture of the area, and would withstand the test of time. It must be comfortable, secure and student-centered. It should be a place for students, faculty, staff and the community to learn, to share ideas, to be inspired, and to become the leaders of tomorrow.
This fall, Hudson County Community College will hold grand opening ceremonies for this new STEM Building. Located just blocks from the Journal Square PATH Transit Center, construction on the $30 million, 70,070 square-foot building began more than two years ago with funding from New Jersey General Obligation (GO) bonding; New Jersey higher education funding programs – Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund (CIF), Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund (HEFT), Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund (HETI) and Education Leasing Fund (ELF); the County of Hudson; and the College’s own funds.
The HCCC STEM Building is constructed to link – via a garden space – to the HCCC Cundari Building, which was renovated and reopened in September 2015 to accommodate the HCCC Nursing and Radiography Programs. The Cundari Building includes state-of-the-art simulated rooms in various hospital settings (pediatrics, OB/GYN, general medicine, orthopedics, ER, and more).
As designed by RSC Architects, the six-story, steel-frame HCCC STEM Building has floors dedicated to Mathematics; Geology and Environmental Sciences; Physics, Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Biology, Microbiology and Histology; and Chemistry. Each of the top five floors house lecture halls, classrooms, science labs, prep rooms, clean rooms, dirty rooms, computer labs, conference rooms, breakout rooms, suites of administrative and faculty offices, and student lounges.
The commanding exterior design of the HCCC STEM Building opens onto an impressive, 1,500 square-foot, first-floor lobby with terrazzo floors, stone-detailed walls, and a coffered ceiling with light pockets. The first floor also includes a student lounge and exhibit/event space.
“All of us here at the College are very proud of this new STEM Building,” states HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. “What we are most excited about, however, are the programs we will offer here, and the opportunities those programs provide in benefiting men and women of Hudson County far into the future.” He notes that the HCCC STEM programs – including the new Computer Science A.S. – Cybersecurity Option, Biotechnology A.S., Computer Science A.S. – Bioinformatics Option, and Construction Management A.A.S. offerings – will allow HCCC students to prepare for careers that are in demand now and will remain so for decades to come. Moreover, HCCC students will now be able to pursue these courses of study on the HCCC campus, without having to utilize labs at other colleges and universities.
President Gabert notes that another important aspect of the HCCC STEM Building will be the inclusion of art from the HCCC Foundation Permanent Art Collection, which now includes more than 1,000 works ranging from painting and sculpture to photographs, American craft pottery and ephemera. Art from the collection is displayed on each and every floor of every HCCC building on the Journal Square and North Hudson campuses. Among the artists represented in the collection are Will Barnet, Ricardo Barros, Chakaia Booker, Christo, Chuck Close, Willie Cole, Edward S. Curtis, Marcel Duchamp, Louis Eilshemius, Ernst Haas, Frank Gehry, Edmund Darch Lewis, Rockwell Kent, Sol LeWitt, Maya Lin, Yoko Ono, Gordon Parks, Jon Rappleye, Man Ray, Faith Ringgold, Ed Ruscha, Ben Shahn, Myron Stout, William Wegman, and Lawrence Weiner.
More than 75 works – paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture related to the sciences and architecture – will be installed throughout the new HCCC STEM Building. Among the works are pieces by the New Jersey-born identical twin photographers, Doug and Mike Starn; a Robert Rauschenberg print focusing on the Statue of Liberty; an Alexander Calder lithograph; and a dozen works by Johanna Vogelsang.
Dr. Gabert says Hudson County Community College is dedicated to playing a decisive role in creating future leaders. “Isaac Asimov wrote, ‘There is an art to science, and science in art; the two are not enemies, but different aspects of the whole.’ Science, art and leadership all involve the critical thinking, creativity and risk-taking that can improve our community.”
According to Gabert, inspiring students requires more than superb facilities equipped with the newest technologies, robust curriculum and great works of art. “The College’s great asset – the factor that makes our STEM programs among the most notable anywhere – is our faculty and staff. They are exceptionally qualified, caring, challenging and nurturing; they are role models. They instill students with the confidence needed to succeed,” he states.
Hudson County Community College looks forward to welcoming students, the Hudson County community, and members of the New Jersey education community to the new HCCC STEM Building this fall.
Categories: Public 2-Year Schools