STEM grant to boost technological growth

Holman Hall to be the new STEM building.

The College announced in May that they have been granted just over $57 million to put toward advancing their science, technology, engineering and math programs.

Back on the Presidential ballot in November 2012, voters approved the referendum for the Building Our Future Bond Act, which awarded $750 million to colleges and universities statewide. All the grants allotted are expected to be used for the development of the STEM departments at each institution.

With four major projects utilizing the grant money, the College is expecting to see some changes and updates. The largest portion of the funds, $41 million, will go toward the construction of a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) building.

The 76,000 square foot STEM building will replace Holman Hall, and demolition is expected to begin in November or December, according to associate vice president for College Relations Stacy Schuster.

Once demolition begins, classes will be temporarily relocated mostly in Forcina Hall, but other buildings across campus as well. Although specifics for the design and facilities of the building are not yet available, the STEM center is expected to improve the science and technology initiatives at the College.

“The STEM Building will provide state of the art, innovative laboratory and classroom spaces and house faculty-student collaborative research space that will enable it to have a broad impact on the learning experiences of TCNJ’s students,” Schuster said.

The remaining funds have been divided between three other projects: $6 million will go to renovating the Science Complex and Armstrong Hall, $6.9 million will provide upgraded research and learning equipment for the School of Science, School of Engineering, and School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science and $3.5 million will expand technology infrastructure overall.

“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity that this state investment offers TCNJ, and am thankful to the governor and the state legislature for making this a priority,” said President R. Barbara Gitenstein in a news release.

Currently, the STEM Steering Committee is in the programming phase, which Schuster explained as a phase where “an extensive assessment of the current and future programmatic and space needs for each program are considered.”

The Committee began meeting in May, consisting of provost and vice president for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Taylor, vice president for enrollment management Lisa Angeloni, interim dean of the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science Marcia Blicharz, vice president for College Advancement John Donohue, vice president for Administration Curt Heuring, dean of the School of Science Jeff Osborn, treasurer Lloyd Ricketts and dean of the School of Engineering Steven Schreiner.

Once the programming phase of the project is finished, the design phase is expected to take off.