Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

Blueprint 2020: A New Vision for ACCC

With enrollment at ACCC surging in recent years, the College is steadily addressing the needs of the expanding student body by adding new locations and adapting to shifts in workforce development.

The construction of a new building in Cape May Court House and extensive renovations to the facility in Atlantic City raised both locations to branch campus status in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The Cape May County Campus is geographically convenient to residents, making it easier for students to access higher education. Upgrades to the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, including the addition of a Health Professions Institute in 2008, answered the call for more trained health care professionals in and around the resort, said Dr. Richard Perniciaro, Dean of Facilities, Planning and Research.

“For the last few years, we addressed the needs in Cape May County and Atlantic City. Now we’re turning our attention to the Mays Landing Campus,” he said.

The last major renovations in Mays Landing were in 1991, when the Academy of Culinary Arts building was added. Since then, enrollments have doubled and technology and science have evolved, creating a need for modernized science and technology labs, Perniciaro said.

In 2005, ACCC President Dr. Peter Mora and other leaders at the College began working on an ambitious master plan called Blueprint 2020, a comprehensive series of ongoing renovation projects to take place, mostly at the Mays Landing Campus, through the year 2020.

“In my view, it was vital for the College to create a master planning model that would allow us to link future academic and student development needs to the types of facilities required to support them,” Mora said.

During the fiscal year 2007-2008, the College also launched a $36 million funding campaign and got the planning ball rolling for three prioritized projects: the construction of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) building; a proposed new student center; and improvements to the Mays Landing Campus roadways, including a new entrance and loop road.

In addition, the College secured state and county funding for the design of the STEM building. This new facility, to be located next to D building, is the focal point of Blueprint 2020.

The STEM building will be mostly lab space. The existing labs in A building will then be renovated to modern classroom space. The timeline for this project calls for completion in 2012.

Other major projects included in the plan are renovations to the Mays Landing Campus library to create an Information Commons that will integrate computers into the library space, similar to what the Atlantic City and Cape May County campuses have. That work takes place this summer.

In addition, the gymnasium will be renovated this summer to add new locker rooms and a fitness center.

The projects were long overdue. “This campus was only built for 3,500 students. We now enroll 7,000,” Perniciaro said. “With Blueprint 2020, we’re really trying to recognize the needs of the students, many of whom spend a lot of time here.”

Already, the College upgraded and added exterior lighting and is renovating restrooms across campus. These were the top two issues students said needed attention during a facilities study in 2007.

Learn more about Atlantic Cape’s upcoming construction projects.