BRIDGETON – The South Jersey firm tapped to head the first phase of the new Cumberland County Technical Education Center will also take the lead on phase two.
Dandrea Construction Corp. of Berlin was awarded a $29,097,200 contract Friday by the Cumberland County Board of Vocational Education as the general contractor for the new school, which will be on the Cumberland County College campus in Vineland. The company submitted the second-lowest bid.
Signs at the future site of the Cumberland County Technical Education Center in Vineland show what the school will look like when it opens for the 2016-2017 school year.(Photo: Staff photo/Chris Torres)
The total cost of phase two came in at $47.5 million, slightly below the $49 million that was budgeted. Other individual contracts were awarded for electric, plumbing, HVAC and structure.
"I can't tell you how happy we are with the bid results," said project architect Brooks Garrison, of the Bellmawr-based Garrison Architects. "I think we were blessed with great competition."
Phase one of the $70 million project, which involved the construction of new athletic fields, bleachers, an irrigation well, a maintenance building and a parking lot — is already complete. Construction on phase two will begin in a few weeks, according to Cumberland County Improvement Authority Executive Director Gerard Velazquez.
When all is said and done, the new site will serve as the county's first full-time technical education center. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2016-2017 school year.
"It's very exciting the county's going to have this wonderful institution for students to go through," said Superintendent Dina Elliott. The superintendent said it remains undetermined what will happen with the school's current facility. The new 200,000-square-foot complex will include fully-integrated classrooms, a media center, a greenhouse, technical laboratories and a fitness center that will be open to the public.
"It's the culmination of a lot of hard work," Velazquez said. "When the Improvement Authority was designated as a redevelopment agency for the county, this was something that was promised. It's great that this is now a reality. We've accomplished a lot in a small period of time.
"It's a breath of fresh air for Cumberland County."
Cumberland County Freeholder Darlene Barber also sat in on Friday's meeting.
"Working in conjunction with the CCIA and the school to help development with this is a good thing," Barber said. "We're excited."
The new facility will allow students to choose from two educational programs that will prepare them for the workforce or post-secondary education.
Students interested in the Career and Technical Education Program which leads to employment can pick from auto technologies (auto mechanics, welding); construction trades (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC); cosmetology and culinary science.
Students who decide to attend college after learning from CCTEC can choose from studies in allied health sciences (dental, nursing, pharmacology, pre-medicine, sports medicine); engineering/manufacturing; information technology (digital electronics, networking, web design); and law enforcement and homeland security.
Teens can also complete their high school graduation requirements and earn state-endorsed diplomas by taking standard high school classes such as English, math and social studies.