HUDSON COUNTY – On Monday, officials from throughout Hudson County joined administrators from Hudson County Community College (HCCC) at the corner of 49th Street and Kennedy Boulevard in Union City to give the first “official” glimpse of the new HCCC North Hudson Higher Education Center – a new HCCC campus scheduled to be open for classes in fall 2011 which is being billed as a “complete campus under one roof.”
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Rep. Albio Sires, and Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise were in attendance as were local mayors Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken) and Richard Turner (Weehawken). Union City Commissioner Christopher Irizarry attended in place of Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack, who Irizarry said was at a budget committee hearing in Trenton.
Irizarry said Union City was proud to host the institution of higher learning, which sits just a few blocks from the brand new Union City High School which opened last year.
At seven stories and 92,250 square feet, the new North Hudson Center is the largest construction effort ever undertaken by HCCC and will provide several services, programs, and events for both the college and the community.
Sen. Menendez called the $28,165,000 project an “engine of opportunity for our citizens.”
Construction on the steel-frame structure began in spring of 2009 and is anticipated to be competed by June 2011 with many “green” features, including rainwater harvesting tanks and low-flow fixtures.
The center is located just around the corner from the light rail station at 49th and Bergenline. Officials said a glass-enclosed pedestrian bridge (scheduled to be built in “Phase Two” of the project) will eventually connect the building with the neighboring NJ Transit station.
The new addition comes at a time when enrollment in community college is dramatically on the rise. According to a released statement from the college, last year the school’s enrollment skyrocketed to 8,900 students, and over the past 16 years, enrollment has increased by 143 percent.
Read the full article about the campus preview in the upcoming edition of The Reporter for more details.