Stockton Dedicates New Academic Quad Expansion
Galloway, N.J. _ Stockton University biology major Melody Weber of Brick can’t wait to work in the biodiversity lab in the new Unified Sciences Center 2.
“I want to concentrate on human evolution,” she said during a tour Wednesday, “and having the sciences together in one building is going to be great.”
More than 200 people attended the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Academic Quad expansion. While the immediate focus was on the new buildings, President Harvey Kesselman, who called the event “an extraordinary moment in Stockton’s history,” focused on the opportunities the buildings would offer students.
“As Stockton invests in the future of our students, as we create new opportunities for them to take advantage of a high-quality, affordable, accessible education, we also invest in the future of New Jersey,” he said, adding that Stockton graduates typically remain to live and work in their home state.
The $48 million project adds almost 100,000 square feet of academic space in a new Health Sciences Center and second Unified Science Center. The curved design of the new buildings creates a Quad that transforms the entrance to the campus and provides a meeting place for students to gather.
Provost Lori Vermeulen said if it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village of Stockton faculty, staff and supporters to “set the village in motion.”
Interim Dean of Health Sciences Lisa Calamidas said since arriving in 1986 she has watched Stockton grow from a small college in the pines to a prestigious university.
“When you tour the buildings, you will be in awe of what you see,” she said.
The new Health Sciences Center includes an Exercise Science lab, a Sustainability lab, and mock patient rooms where an instructor can control a simulated “patient” to provide students life-like experiences.
Mady Deininger, a Stockton alumna and chair of the Board of Trustees, called the project a transformation and stressed the impact for students studying the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
“A STEM education is about solving problems,” she said.
Funding for the project was provided by the N.J. Building Our Future Bond Act, with the university providing 25 percent of the cost as matching funds.
State legislators speaking at the event included Sen. Chris Connors, Sen. Jeff Van Drew, and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, Kesselman read remarks from Senate President Steve Sweeney and thanked all of the legislators for their support.
Mazzeo noted that his wife is a Stockton alumna, and said he is impressed with the university’s growth both in Galloway and in Atlantic City, where Stockton will open a new residential campus in the fall.
“It looks like Stockton is ready for the future,” Mazzeo said.
Peter Straub, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Math, said the world is changing, but change can be an opportunity.
“Thank you for this investment to teach our students to adapt to change, and to change the world,” he said.
After the ribbon cutting, guests toured the new buildings and watched the simulated patient “Stan” in action.
Steven Gifford Principal-in-Charge of the project for architects Perkins Eastman said they are proud to be part of the Stockton village.
“Our design creates a true gateway for the campus for the first time, announcing Stockton’s seriousness of purpose and commitment to its students and faculty,” Gifford said.
ACADEMIC QUAD FACTS:
- The $48 million project, featuring a new Health Sciences Center and a second Unified Science Center transforms the entrance to the main campus, adding almost 100,000 square feet of classroom space and labs. Huge windows offer views of Stockton’s wooded campus.
- The curved design of the new buildings, combined with the existing Unified Science Center and bordered by the Campus Center, create the new Quad design, which will feature an open area for students to gather.
- The new 37,720 square-foot Health Sciences Center includes a Sustainability Lab where students will study topics ranging from solar energy to organic farming.
- An Exercise Science lab will feature treadmills and other equipment where students in the Exercise Science program will get hands-on training.
- Patient simulation rooms for student clinical training in the health sciences include separate observation areas for faculty.
- The new 58,210-square-foot Unified Science Center 2 features a greenhouse with three temperature zones, physics, organic chemistry, and anatomy and physiology labs, a vivarium, and a x-ray room.
- The Quad expansion, along with the new Atlantic City residential campus that will open in the fall, address Stockton’s mission to meet the demand for a high-quality education for New Jersey students.
- In fall 2017, Stockton welcomed its largest freshman class ever, almost 1,600 students, a 32 percent increase from the year before.
- Funding for the Academic Quad project came from the N.J. Building Our Future Bond Act, with the University providing the 25 percent required matching funds.
- The Academic Quad expansion was designed by architects Perkins-Eastman. The contractor is Benjamin Harvey Company, Construction Manager is Hill International and Civil Engineer is Pennoni.
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