MCC Plans 2 New Buildings for Spring of 2016
Two new College buildings – the Center for Student Services and an academic science building that will be called South Hall – are scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. The center will provide a revolutionary process for enrolling students and the new science building will provide state-of-the-art classrooms and labs.
Center for Student Services
While this project is in development and a steering committee is working on specifics, it will be a two-story building of approximately 26,000 square feet, at the corner of Parkside Drive and College Drive East. The project includes improvements to the park – a more defined path, new lighting and benches – as well as upgrading two parking lots and increasing the number of spaces in them.
"It's going to revolutionize how we admit and register students," said Kasey Drennen, director of the College's First-Year Experience. "We've been looking at Montgomery County Community College, which is in the vanguard of enrollment services, to create a true one-stop process."
Students could take care of most of their enrollment process by visiting one counter.
"The idea is you can get through the process quicker and more conveniently," Mr. Drennen said.
"The Center will serve as the first point of contact for Admissions, Financial Aid, the Scholarships Office, Student Accounts, Advising, the Registrar and First-Year Experience, as well as Corporate and Community Education.
Donald R. Drost Jr., executive director of facilities management, said the steering committee will work on the business model as the project is being designed. DMR Architects has been selected and the actual construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2014 or early 2015 and is expected to cost $12 million. It will be funded by Chapter 12, a program in which the county government sells bonds, and the state and the county then split the debt service.
Middlesex's most recent building, Crabiel Hall, received a LEED® silver rating from the United States Green Building Council, signifying its environmental attributes. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized mark of excellence that provides building owners with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Mr. Drost said the College is attempting to attain a gold rating for this building.
In 2012, New Jersey voters approved the "Building Our Future" bond, which allocated $750 million for construction projects at the state's colleges and universities, including $150 million for community colleges. At MCC, the proposed project was for a new, state-of-the-art science building.
"The timeline to submit a proposal for this money was incredibly tight," said College Preident Joann La Perla-Morales. "We knew that in our recent Master Plan, upgraded laboratories were cited as a need of the college. A committee worked diligently and quickly to prepare three separate proposals for the bond money and equipment. The committee members included Parag Muley, David Edwards, Ron Goldfarb, Sue Perkins, Patrick Madama, Don Drost and Roseann Bucciarelli. They did a great job. A special note of appreciation goes to the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for providing the college with the $3.4 million needed as a match."
The MCC Board hired LR Kimball Architects, and the program phase – determining the academic needs for labs, lecture and classroom space – will begin soon.
Mr. Drost said it will most likely be a two-story building that will replace South I and South II. The departments currently there will be relocated by the end of 2013. Demolition will take place in January. The goal is also a LEED gold rating for this building.
Parag Muley, chair of Natural Sciences, is eager for the new building to be completed.
"It'll be fabulous," he said. "It'll be an excellent addition to our existing facility that will fill a much-needed niche. It will bring our resources on par with national and international standards as well as incorporate new pedagogies that have been evolving. Students can indulge in self-discovery and self-learn."