Something new (and cool): Construction on campus didn’t stop during pandemic

Here’s a look at some of the cool projects that have been popping up on college campuses across the state:

Kean University
Esports Arena

In March, Kean opened a 3,000-square-foot esports arena on the second floor of the Green Lane Academic Building. 

The space features a large screen for competitions, space for up to 50 spectators, state-of-the-art computers built for gaming, and gaming consoles including the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox.

Monmouth University
Parton Broadcasting Center 

The students who produce the live broadcasts of Monmouth University’s Division I sporting events are now doing so from a new, state-of-the-art control room, thanks to a generous gift from Charles and Trudy Parton. 

The Parton Broadcasting Center, which cut its ribbon last December, allows Monmouth’s award-winning production team to work with industry-standard technology, giving students a leading edge when searching for jobs.

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Maple Hall residences

The rise of Maple Hall, a 176-unit apartment-style residence on Warren Street at NJIT, coincides with a growing demand for housing at a university that has experienced 24% enrollment growth since 2011.

Run Baby Run Arena, a modern basketball/volleyball arena on the Saint Peter’s University campus in Jersey City. — Saint Peter’s University

The eight-story building is designed to have wide student appeal, with single and double units and amenities like full kitchens, a convenience store, grass courtyard and collaborative spaces. The modern hall will help NJIT broaden its geographical appeal.

Princeton University
Yeh College and New College West

This fall marks the opening of two new residential colleges at Princeton: Yeh College and New College West.  

These new complexes advance one of Princeton’s highest strategic priorities: an expansion of the student body by 500 students so additional high-achieving students will realize the benefits of a Princeton education, enhance the diversity and vitality of the campus community and contribute to society after they graduate.

Ramapo College of New Jersey
Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons

The Learning Commons project created a new learning space, increasing the building’s interior space and modernizing the traditional library at Ramapo.

It houses state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, group and individual study rooms, media hubs, on-site technology resources, a makerspace design laboratory, a café, archives, centers and research projects, and displays breathtaking views of the Ramapo Mountains.

Rowan University
Meditation Walk

Rowan University is in the midst of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar infrastructure project to mitigate flooding while beautifying its 200-acre main campus. 

Focused on Meditation Walk, the east-west corridor crossing the north side of campus, the project was designed to beautify the campus while easing stormwater runoff, improving absorption and eliminating or reducing surface flooding. The project improved the health of Chestnut Branch Stream.

Saint Peter’s University
Run Baby Run Arena

Last fall, Saint Peter’s celebrated the opening of the Run Baby Run Arena, a modern basketball/volleyball arena on the university’s campus in Jersey City. 

The space features retractable bleachers with an allotment of chairback seating, full replacement of the hardwood court, updated branding and signage, a reimagined entryway, enhanced lighting and new video scoreboards. 

It is named the Run Baby Run Arena as tribute to the legendary team that earned the moniker after routing Duke in the 1968 NIT quarterfinals in front of a record crowd at Madison Square Garden. Some say it helped spur the team on its Cinderella run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last March.

Stevens Institute of Technology
University Center Complex

Stevens officials call them the UCC — many just call them “the towers.” By any name, they are the most transformative construction project in the school’s history.

The University Center Complex, which opened in spring 2022, is an iconic structure that features dual 19- and 21-story residential towers that house approximately 1,000 students and are connected by a skybridge high above the Hudson River.

Stevens’ new fitness facility at the University Center Complex. — Stevens Institute of Technology

They are visible from New York City — with an east-facing façade that includes Stevens’ signage to accentuate the university’s growing profile in the metro New York academic and technology landscape. 

At the base is a three-story University Center that serves as a true campus hub, fully equipped fitness facilities, private dining and café spaces, multiple lounges, high-tech conference rooms and auditorium spaces that can accommodate large community events. 

An exterior terrace overlooks the Hudson River and the New York City skyline, providing a stunning venue for formal and informal gatherings.

Stockton University
Atlantic City campus

The school marked a milestone in the construction of the second phase of its Atlantic City campus this summer, a topping-off ceremony for the six-story, 135,000-square-foot, 416-bed residence hall that is under construction at Atlantic and South Providence avenues in the University District, across from O’Donnell Park. 

The $69.3 million expansion, being built by Atlantic City Development Corp., is expected to open in the fall of 2023.

William Paterson University
Cybersecurity research lab

William Paterson’s newly created and then expanded cybersecurity research lab is equipped with networking devices, state-of-the-art computers for machine learning, high-performance graphic processing unit and a real-time tracker of global cybersecurity attacks, among other technology. 

The lab led to new computer science courses acutely focused on industry needs, where undergrads can attain professional cybersecurity certifications before graduating.