BRIDGETON — Cumberland County freeholders got a sneak preview Tuesday night at plans for a proposed full-time technical education center.
Second story plans include classrooms in science education, including chemistry, biology and horticulture, as well as a greenhouse.
The presentation, given by Freeholder Deputy Director Doug Long and members of his group of advisors, calls for the construction of a two-story, 190,000-square-foot building located directly on the campus of Cumberland Community College. Design is by Garrison Architects of Marlton.
The proposed school, which would be owned by the college, would provide education in everything ranging from carpentry to cosmetology to culinary arts.
Preliminary estimates place the cost of the project at around $50 million, according to Cumberland County Improvement Authority Executive director Gerard Velazquez, who is a member of Long’s group.
Velazquez said the state might pick up 70 percent of the cost of the project, and the Improvement Authority would continue to look for ways to leverage the remaining cost of the project to bring it down below 30 percent.
“This creates an opportunity for Cumberland County to move itself from where it is today, to put us on the map,” Velazquez said. “We need to make this happen for the sustainable opportunities that exist for us down the road.”
He added, “this is a first step in many steps that will allow us to become part of the new workforce.”
The school would be the county’s first full-time technical education center.
Bob Garrison, of Garrison Architects, went over layout designs of the school, which includes a core administrative center on the first floor, as well as spaces for classrooms in cosmetology, engineering, mechanical, welding and culinary programs including a production kitchen.
Athletic plans for the school include a full-size gymnasium, a fitness center that would be open to the public, two basketball courts with locker rooms, as well as the construction of separate football and baseball fields, also located on the college campus.
Vocational spaces include classrooms for carpentry, welding, mechanical and plumbing; nursing education would be available with classes offered in LPN instruction.
Also located on the first floor are plans for a cafeteria with an outdoor patio, as well as a production kitchen for the school’s culinary arts students.