Freeholders look to borrow $2.3M to pay for improvements at Gloucester County College

Wednesday, September 02, 2009
By Pete McCarthy

DEPTFORD TWP. The freeholder board is set to borrow $2.3 million to help pay for several capital improvements at Gloucester County College.

The bond, which is expected to be introduced at tonight's meeting, will go toward renovations to school buildings and other projects.

"It gives a longer life to the existing buildings and delays the possibility of having to build more classrooms," said Gloucester County Administrator Chad Bruner. "It gives them breathing space for the next seven to 12 years."

Once the county borrows the money, the funds will be reimbursed through a state program to pay for capital projects at all two-year colleges.

Among other things, the money will go toward classroom renovations, roof replacement for the gymnasium, replacement of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units, and improvements to the auditorium, all to designs by Garrison Architects of Mt. Laurel.

A total of $38 million was divided between the state's two-year colleges. Gloucester County's share has been long overdue, according to college President Dr. Russell Davis.

"For the last two years, there hasn't been any," said Davis. "Our structures were in dire need of some support."

The college has already completed some of the work this summer, according to Davis, who said GCC used other funding to get started. Seven new "smart classrooms" were developed, which have extensive technology upgrades.

"It's allowing the campus to do a much needed renewal," said Davis. "A majority of our structures have aged significantly. ... This is allowing us to continue some of the projects that we started a year ago."

These changes will also help with recruiting, said Davis.

"High school students come to us from schools that have been renovated," said Davis. "They expect nothing less."

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