Tour Cumberland County tech school's new $70M campus

By Don E. Woods | For NJ.com on August 16, 2016 at 6:54 PM

VINELAND — Seventeen months and approximately $70 million went into the construction of Cumberland County Technical Education Center's new, state-of-the-art campus in time for the incoming class of 2020.

Starting this year, CCTEC will be a four-year, full-time high school and its inaugural class — 241 students — will be entering the hallways on Sept. 12.

Robert Garrison
Architect Robert N. Garrison explains the features of classrooms at the new Cumberland County Technical Education Center.

The Cumberland County Improvement Authority handled the construction of the 200,000-square-foot school to a design by Garrison Architects of Bellmawr..

Each classroom, hallway and meeting room has Superintendent Dina Rossi Elliott's fingerprint, according to officials. The superintendent helped direct how the school would look and function.

"We have 241 students ready to go on Sept. 12, which is our first day, and if you come back — and I hope you do — to see the excitement on their faces," Elliott said. "We had a little preview a few days ago. We had 10 or 12 engineering students with us. Most of the comments was, 'I wish school started today.' It's not just because of the spaces but because of the opportunities that their instructors and this institution will give them moving forward. The Class of 2020 is excited to join us and we are going to be actively recruiting the Class of 2021 in just a few short weeks."

There are 78 instructional areas inside the building — including instructional areas for dentistry, cosmetology, health science, construction trades, culinary arts and a chemistry lab. The gymnasium can hold a maximum amount of 1,804 people when all of the bleachers are open.

During the construction, special attention was made to the size of hallways and stairwells. Safety features are also included in the design plans of the school. Anyone entering the building must first go through the security desk at the main office and classroom doors have locking mechanisms that ensure no one outside can get in.

Even what would have been the library area has a 21st century update. In the media room, chairs and electrical outlets are the main focus so that students have places to set up their laptops and study.

 

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