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College Breaks Ground on Crabiel Hall

In a ceremony that honored the past and acclaimed the future, the College held a groundbreaking October 9 to highlight the start of construction on its new building, which is being named for the late David B. Crabiel, longtime freeholder director.

"We are thrilled that the freeholder director's name will be forever linked with Middlesex County College in this way," said Dorothy K. Power, chairman of the College's Board of Trustees. "He took such pride in the College and supported its growth and development. He was such an influential figure in the history of both the College and the County. As a friend and colleague, I am so proud that we are able to honor him and his contributions."

Crabiel Hall replaces West Hall, which was built in 1941 as part of the Raritan Arsenal – the site of Middlesex County College. It is the last wooden structure from the Arsenal days.

The new building, which is expected to be complete by January of 2011, will be 36,000 square feet and will house smart classrooms, state-of-the-art computer labs, a culinary demonstration kitchen and a conference center.

Crabiel Hall will be completed in accordance with the LEEDS Green Building Rating System and is expected to obtain a Silver rating.

"This will be an environmentally friendly building with numerous features designed to save energy and resources," said Donald R. Drost Jr., executive director of facilities management. A good portion of the materials used in construction of the building will be made with recycled materials, and we have a goal of recycling 80 percent of the construction waste."

Mr. Drost added that the College is conserving water by capturing rainwater for use in irrigation. "We'll also provide special parking areas with recharging stations for electric vehicles," he said.

College President Joann La Perla-Morales said that the new building is a welcome addition to the 200-acre campus and will provide much needed classroom and conference space. Middlesex County College currently serves more than 13,000 students in credit classes and an additional 10,000 in continuing education classes.

"As the College grows in number of students, we need to expand our facilities to provide current technology and state-of-the-art facilities," she said. "At the same time, we are aware of our environmental responsibilities. We are proud to be one of the first community colleges to seek LEED certification for a new building."

In the photo, from left: County Clerk Elaine Flynn; Freeholder H. James Polos; College Trustee Robert Sica, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan; Ronald Rios, freeholder liaison to the College; Dorothy K. Power, chairman of the College Board of Trustees; Christopher Rafano, deputy freeholder director; Stephen J. "Pete" Dalina, freeholder director; Freeholder Carol Barrett; Thomas Tighe, vice chairman of the College Board of Trustees; family members Mary Crabiel, Carolee Grocott and Paulette Wahler; Trustee John Mulkerin; Freeholder Blanquita Valenti; Trustee Eileen Palumbo; Mark Finkelstein, treasurer of the College Board of Trustees; Freeholder Mildred S. Scott; College President Joann La Perla-Morales; Brian Wahler, mayor of Piscataway and son-in-law of David Crabiel; and Trustee Praful Raja.