Montclair State University in Line to Receive $93.8 Million from State

Bond monies would fund two new state-of-the-art buildings and technology infrastructure upgrades

Montclair State University is poised to receive $93.8 million in State of New Jersey bond funding to expand the academic and research facilities and to upgrade the technology infrastructure at New Jersey’s second largest university.

In late April, Governor Chris Christie announced that New Jersey State Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks has sent to the Legislature a list of 176 higher education construction projects totaling $1.3 billion. The recommended list includes funding for the construction of two state-of-the-art buildings at Montclair State to support growing academic and research needs in the areas of science and business.

These funds from the Building Our Future Bond Act (which New Jersey voters approved in November 2012) will allow the University to begin construction in late summer on a Center for Environmental and Life Sciences and a new high-tech home for the School of Business.

“This is exciting news,” says Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “This substantial and catalytic investment by the state will greatly benefit both New Jersey’s students and economy by building upon critical areas of expertise and excellence that reside in our strong, high-demand programs in the sciences and business.”

“Capital improvements such as those endorsed by Secretary Hendricks are essential to the future of New Jersey’s great institutions of higher learning,” said President Cole. “Without competitive facilities, we would not be able to continue to attract top students, support world-class research and serve our larger community.”

As New Jersey’s second largest university and the hub for critical programs and research in fields such as the environmental and life sciences, Montclair State is a key contributor and driver in New Jersey’s economy and, with the construction of these new facilities, the University will be putting hundreds of additional individuals to work on its campus.

The Center for Environmental and Life Sciences, a 107,500 gross square foot building, will expand Montclair State’s science research infrastructure by 50 percent, thereby addressing a current acute shortage in science fields where the University has high-quality programs with heavy student demand. The $55 million new facility will include state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories for the environmental and life sciences, including sustainability science, pharmaceutical biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry, classrooms and seminar rooms, a 150-seat lecture hall, a microscopy suite, and space to accommodate research partnerships with collaborating business partners. The project also will make possible a future subsequent renovation of the University’s existing science facilities to accommodate the growing instructional and research needs in the biological, computing, and mathematical sciences.

“The new Center for Environmental and Life Sciences will have a direct impact on keeping high-potential science students from leaving New Jersey to pursue their education in fields critical to the state’s economy,” said College of Science and Mathematics Dean Robert Prezant. “The project will support academic programs and cross-disciplinary research in the environmental and life sciences with a focus on sustainability science, pharmaceutical biochemistry and medicinal chemistry.”

The School of Business will be replacing its current, 40-year-old building with a new 143,000 gross square foot building. The $66 million project will create a state-of-the-art learning environment for the business disciplines and will include classrooms and seminar rooms with sophisticated technology, a 150-seat lecture hall, executive education space, computer labs, market research/analysis labs. The new building also will house the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, and space conducive to the development of regional and global collaborations with the business community. The project will make possible the subsequent renovation and re-use of Partridge Hall for other important academic purposes, including an expanded home for The Graduate School.

“This project will allow us truly to be a business school able to meet the 21st century needs of New Jersey’s economy,” said School of Business Dean E. LaBrent Chrite.

In addition to these two new building projects, state funding also has been provided for Montclair State to maintain and enhance its technology infrastructure, including networking equipment and systems, instructional technology upgrades and the installation of high availability, uninterrupted power source devices across the campus.