Montclair State University celebrated its building boom yesterday, breaking ground on two major construction projects which constitute a combined investment of $121 million in new academic facilities. The projects are being partially funded by the State of New Jersey, and will result in 1,500 construction and support jobs.
In April, the University was awarded nearly $94 million in State bond funding from the $750-million “Building Our Future” Bond Act that was approved by New Jersey voters in November 2012. Montclair State received more money than any other senior public or private institution with only public research universities receiving larger amounts. The Bond Act represents the State’s first major capital investment in higher education facilities in more than 25 years.
President Susan A. Cole, who presided over a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for Environmental and Life Sciences and a new School of Business building, said “These are urgently needed facilities,” says Cole. “With this program, the State has taken a giant step forward to ensure that we continue to meet the demands of New Jersey’s educational future.”
Montclair State was one one of the first schools to start construction on its State-funded projects. Both buildings are scheduled for completion by spring 2015.
The $55-million, 107,500-square-foot Center for Environmental and Life Sciences will expand the University’s science research infrastructure by 50 percent. State-of-the-art classrooms and research labs will support programs and research in sustainability science, pharmaceutical biochemistry and medicinal chemistry, as well as in environmental management, environmental science, geoscience and geography. Designed to foster collaborative research and industry partnerships, the Center will also house the University’s Sokol Institute for the Pharmaceutical Life Sciences; the Institute for Sustainability Studies; and the Passaic River Institute.
The 143,000-square-foot School of Business building will provide students with a $66-million high-tech learning environment featuring a 150-seat lecture hall, classrooms and computer labs, as well as market research/analysis labs and a financial trading floor. A hub for both the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, the new building also will facilitate and grow dynamic partnerships with the New Jersey business community.
In attendance at the groundbreaking were Montclair officials: Mayor Robert Jackson, Deputy Mayor Robert Russo, and Councilman-at-large, Rich McMahon.