Office of Higher Ed awards nearly $400M to 54 projects aimed at supporting infrastructure/technology across state

There is more than $11 million for a new health care building at the County College of Morris and more than $8 million for core network and datacenter telecommunications infrastructure at Rowan University.

There is more than $19 million for a Library Learning Commons project at Stockton University — and $40 million for a recreation center update and addition at William Paterson University.

All told, nearly $400 million in capital facilities grant funding to support 54 higher education infrastructure improvements up and down the state — at both four-year and two-year colleges — was awarded by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

The 54 projects awarded are intended to support the growing infrastructure and technology needs of New Jersey’s higher education sector to continue advancing access to high-quality postsecondary education.

The grant money, which was just over $395 million, came from four revolving bond programs:

  • The Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund;
  • The Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund;
  • The Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund;
  • The Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund.

Established by the Legislature, these bond programs form a critical piece of New Jersey’s commitment to directly address funding for the preservation, renewal and construction of facilities and equipment at New Jersey’s institutions of higher education as well as their technology needs.

Gov. Phil Murphy said their impact on the state will be huge.

“New Jersey remains committed to investing in our students, so that more bright young people are motivated to pursue a higher education right here in our state,” he said. “In many respects, that starts with campus facilities and resources. By funding capital improvement projects that both revitalize and expand campus offerings, we not only affirm our commitment to high-quality postsecondary education but demonstrate a commitment to growing talent across the Garden State.”

Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges agreed.

“Our institutions of higher education are critical economic engines and play an essential role in educating and training the next generation of New Jersey’s workforce,” he said. “Their success depends upon the ability to provide the 21st-century learning environments that today’s students demand from a higher education experience. Through these grant awards, campuses will be able to fund repairs, enhance their physical locations and build for the future.”

The nearly $400 million in grant funding will help enhance the postsecondary experience in New Jersey with awards to facilitate the transformation of campus spaces to meet the needs of 21st-century learners. This includes projects to create flexible, multipurpose spaces, which offer both physical space and state-of-the-art connectivity able to support virtual learning, research and collaboration.

Sheryl Stitt, the executive director of the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, said the group has provided approximately $1.7 billion since 1994.

“Today’s announcement of an additional nearly $400 million in grant awards demonstrates a continued commitment to providing modernized classrooms, labs and technological infrastructure at New Jersey’s colleges and universities that are on par with the best schools in the world,” she said.

“The New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority is honored to play a part in these important programs and to work in partnership with Secretary Bridges, Gov. Murphy and their teams.”

The full award list can be seen here.