Atlantic Cape Community College broke ground on its $16 million Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building Monday morning, Dec. 10, college officials announced.
Atlantic Cape plans to award the construction contract at its Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18, college officials said. Funding came from a number of sources equaling $8 million, with an $8 million matching grant by the County of Atlantic Funders, college officials said.
The groundbreaking took place on the Mays Landing campus with nearly 100 college representatives, government and hospitality officials in attendance, according to college officials.
The building is considered the centerpiece of the Blueprint 2020 Master Plan, and features five science labs and three computer labs, according to college officials. It will be the home of the new Air Traffic Control (Terminal) Degree program, will have a vegetated “green” roof and astronomy viewing area, and is designed to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver status, according to college officials.
The U.S. Green Building Council gives out the silver status, which is certified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey recently earned LEED gold status for its Campus Center.
Atlantic Cape believes silver status is attainable, mainly due to the following features:
- a vegetated green roof;
- use of recycled materials in construction;
- day-lighting in most of the occupied spaces and use of indirect lighting;
- use of natural materials including linoleum flooring and stone tile;
- indoor air quality monitoring; and
- storm water management using a vegetated bio-swale.
“The groundbreaking for this state-of-the-art STEM building simply would not be possible without the vision and support of a wide range of advocates, including members of the college community, led by our Board of Trustees, elected officials from the local through the national levels, and leaders from the private sector. It has truly been team effort,” Atlantic Cape President Dr. Peter Mora said in a statement issued by the college.
The STEM building was designed by Stantec Architects, a national firm with experience designing such buildings, according to Atlantic Cape officials. The exterior of the building will feature brick cavity walls on the first floor, and insulated metal panel on the second, according to college officials.
Specifically, the building will feature:
- two biology labs;
- one organic chemistry lab;
- one general chemistry lab;
- one lab shared between earth science and anthropology;
- adjacent science preparation rooms;
- three computer classrooms, one housing the College’s Federal Aviation Administration tower simulator for its new Air Traffic Control (Terminal) degree program; and
- a second simulator designed to teach radar operation instruction.
Additionally, the building will provide:
- student collaboration spaces;
- faculty offices;
- conference rooms;
- student lounges; and
- small ‘grab and go’ food station.
Those contributing to the funding of the project included: South Jersey Economic Development District; Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation; federal government, omnibus and U.S. Economic Development Administration funding; Atlantic Cape; and the state of New Jersey, Chapter 12 program, according to college officials.
“The construction of this facility, when linked to the recent opening of the Rutgers Degree Completion facility here in Mays Landing and the current construction of a new hospitality studies wing at our Worthington Atlantic City Campus, constitutes a transformational, historic change in improving the quality of the academic and workforce programs offered at Atlantic Cape Community College,” Mora said. “These projects directly support our published mission of providing opportunity to superior and affordable higher education for the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included: Otto Hernandez, department chair, Information Systems & Aviation Studies; Ken Calemmo, Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation board officer and capital campaign cabinet member; Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson; Assemblyman John F. Amodeo; and Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo.