County eyes $3.5M bond for GCC building that would house new program

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
By Christina Paciolla

WOODBURY The freeholders introduced a $3.5 million bond ordinance Tuesday night for the construction of a new building at Gloucester County College where students can take advantage of advanced degree programs with participating universities.

The building will hold 13 "smart" classrooms to be used in the evening for the Fairleigh Dickinson's undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the county college.

Construction could start as early as next spring to a design by Garrison Architects of Marlton.

The entire project will cost $6.5 million and there is no new net cost to the county. Gloucester County officials will use money left over from the recent expansion project to the Gloucester County Institute of Technology. Freeholders introduced a bond ordinance to move that money over for the GCC project, as well.

GCC will repay the county $3.5 million utilizing the funding they receive from Fairleigh Dickinson University. The GCC Foundation has pledged $250,000 toward the project.

"This is the next logical step for Gloucester County College," said Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney. Sweeney said GCC has the highest graduation rates and the highest retention rates of any New Jersey community college. In 2007, the school hit record enrollment with 6,081 students registered for credit courses."Students will now be offered a four-year college degree at a county college cost," Sweeney said. "We think it's awesome."

Up to six colleges and universities may also be offering courses at Gloucester County College. County Administrator Chad Bruner said Wilmington University is also interested.Camden County College, as well as Burlington County College, offer similar programs.

"We just need the space to attract more schools," Bruner said.

The public hearing and final adoption of the bond ordinance will be Dec. 15.


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