GCIT changes to help students, families

By JIM WALSH o Courier-Post Staff o August 23, 2010

DEPTFORD - A $10-million expansion project is creating new opportunities for students at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology, officials say.

A nearly 50,000-square-foot addition provides room for more students to pursue vocational training at the Tanyard Road school, said Freeholder-Director Stephen M. Sweeney.

And at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Friday, officials will sign an agreement that will allow some students to graduate in five years with both a high school degree and an Associate Degree from Gloucester County College.

"That could save families a very large amount (on college costs)," said Sweeney, who also is state Senate president.

The project, which began in March 2009, has added 24 high-tech classrooms, four welding stations and a new gym, among other improvements.

GCIT previously had room for only 900 students, causing it to turn away some youngsters seeking workplace skills, Sweeney said.

"We were crowding out the kids who wanted to get vocational training. And that area is just as important as any other," he said.

The expansion will create space for a larger freshman class, boosting the school's population by about 450 students over the next four years.

Once that happens, Sweeney predicted, about 900 students will pursue occupational training at GCIT. Some 450 will attend an enhanced Academy High School, which will offer the opportunity for the five-year program.

"This already is a top school," he asserted. "But it's going to a new level."


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