Hudson County Community College Holds Grand Opening Ceremonies for Its New STEM Building

Posted: 9/27/2017
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, jchristopher@hccc.edu or Roger Jones, 201-200-1080, rj@jonesandassociatescommunications.com

September 20, 2017, Jersey City, NJ – On Tuesday, September 19 at 10 a.m., Hudson County Community College (HCCC) held the official Grand Opening ceremonies for the new 70,070 square-foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Building at 263 Academy Street in Jersey City. 

HCCC Board of Trustees Chairman William J. Netchert and HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. welcomed federal and local officials, including U.S. Congressman Albio Sires, Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, and Hudson County Clerk Barbara Netchert. 

Mr. Netchert and Dr. Gabert also greeted College Trustees and several members of the HCCC Foundation Board of Directors, as well as HCCC administrators, faculty and students. In all, approximately 200 people were present for the event.

Located just blocks from the Journal Square PATH Transit Center, construction on the $30 million, 70,070 square-foot HCCC STEM Building began more than two years ago.  The HCCC STEM Building is constructed to link to the HCCC Cundari Center, which was renovated and reopened in September 2015 to accommodate the HCCC Nursing and Radiography Programs. The Cundari Center includes state-of-the-art simulated rooms in various hospital settings (pediatrics, OB/GYN, general medicine, orthopedics, ER, and more).

As designed by RSC Architects, the six-story, steel-frame HCCC STEM Building, each of the top five floors is dedicated to a specific course of study: Chemistry and Organic Chemistry on the sixth floor; Biology, Microbiology and Histology on the fifth floor; Physics, Engineering and Electronics Engineering on the fourth floor; Geology and Environmental Studies on the third floor; and Mathematics on the second floor. The floors include lecture halls, classrooms, science labs, prep rooms, clean rooms, dirty rooms, STEM computer labs and stations, conference rooms, breakout rooms, suites of administrative and faculty offices, and student lounges.

The commanding exterior design of the HCCC STEM Building opens onto an impressive, 1,500 square-foot, first-floor lobby with stone-detailed walls, and a coffered ceiling with light pockets. The first floor will also include a student lounge, lecture hall and exhibit/event space.

State-of-the-art equipment, including autoclaves, incubators, ionizers, explosion-proof refrigerators and vacuum ovens were built into the labs. Some of the other unique features are: classrooms and breakout rooms adjacent to labs which allow for what is learned to be put into practical use; stage and prep rooms attached to labs; lab tables with data ports so students may research their findings immediately; walls coated with “Wink,” a clear, water-soluble, dry-erase coating that wipes clean with no ghosting; microscopes that transmit images to laptops so specimens can be better seen; labs outfitted with workstations with fume hoods that protect students, faculty and the environment from toxic or volatile chemicals; acid-proof pipes; additional security mechanisms.

“All of us at the College are very proud of this new STEM Building,” stated HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. “The most important thing, however, is not the building, but the students we are serving and the programs that are offered. The opportunities these programs provide will benefit the people of Hudson County far into the future.” He notes that the HCCC STEM programs – including the new Computer Science A.S. - Cybersecurity Option, Biotechnology A.S., Computer Science A.S. - Bioinformatics Option, and Construction Management A.A.S. offerings – will allow HCCC students to prepare for careers that are in-demand now and will remain so for decades to come. Moreover, HCCC students will now be able to pursue these courses of study on the HCCC campus, without having to utilize labs at other colleges and universities.

President Gabert noted that another important aspect of the HCCC STEM Building will be the installation throughout the building of art from the HCCC Foundation Permanent Art Collection, which now includes more than 1,000 works.