Construction Provides Expanding Opportunities

A series of major construction projects under way at all Atlantic Cape campuses continue to create new opportunities for students.

STEM Builds New Pathways

STEM Groundbreaking

The college held a ceremonial groundbreaking Dec. 10, 2012, for the Science, Technology Engineering & Math building at the college's Mays Landing Campus.

The groundbreaking featured remarks from Dr. Peter L. Mora; Dr. Otto Hernandez, department chair, Information Systems & Aviation Studies; Ken Calemmo, Foundation board officer and Capital Campaign Cabinet member; Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson; Assemblyman John F. Amodeo; and Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo.

The centerpiece of the Blueprint 2020 Master Plan, the $16 million project will feature:

  • Science labs
  • Computer labs
  • Office spaces
  • Partially vegetated roof with walkways
  • House the air traffic control and aviation studies degree programs
  • House the Technology Studies Institute

"The groundbreaking for this state-of-the-art STEM building simply would not be possible without the vision and support of a wide range of advocates, including members of the college community, led by our Board of Trustees, elected officials from the local through the national levels, and leaders from the private sector. It has truly been a team effort," Dr. Mora said.

Funding for the $16 million STEM building project came from a number of sources, totaling $8 million, plus an $8 million match by Atlantic County. Funders included:

  • South Jersey Economic Development District
  • Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation
  • Federal government, omnibus and U.S. Economic Development Administration funding
  • Atlantic Cape
  • The State of New Jersey, Chapter 12 program

The 32,475-square-foot, two-story facility, designed by Philadelphia firm Stantec Architects, will be eligible for LEED Silver certification for its "green" design.

Occupancy is planned for September 2014.

College 'Tops Off' New Hospitality and Gaming Wing

WACC Topping Off Ceremony

The college held a "topping off" ceremony July 2, 2013, to mark a milestone in the construction of the Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies at the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus.

The event featured remarks from:

  • Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County executive
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Dr. Peter L. Mora
  • Dr. Richard Perniciaro, dean of Worthington Atlantic City Campus operations
  • John Palmieri, executive director of the CRDA.

Guests and college employees signed the final steel beam, which was then hoisted to its place at the top of the structure.

Construction began in 2012 and occupancy is slated for the fall 2014 semester.

Designed by Blumberg Associates of Atlantic City, the 20,000-square-foot addition will train entry- and mid-level culinary and hospitality workers. The wing will include:

  • Two teaching kitchens
  • Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Casino Career Institute space
  • A greenhouse

"This wing represents the largest expansion of our Atlantic City campus in its 30-year history. With this new addition, the campus will be at 100,000 square feet. Through this site, the college has provided undergraduate education and job training to tens of thousands of area residents and employees of the hotel/casino industry," Dr. Mora said. "The most exciting part of this project is that the top floor will house an expansion of the college's nationally recognized Academy of Culinary Arts."

The $10 million project was jointly funded by Atlantic County and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority with funds designated for the project by Caesars Entertainment.

Solar Project Lights Campuses

Solar Construction at Mays Landing Campus

A 2.2 megawatt solar photovoltaic project began in May 2013 at the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses, and installation began in July and was to be completed by fall. The college hosted an event at the Mays Landing Campus Wednesday, June 26, to mark the start of the long-awaited project.

Marina Energy LLC, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries, was to design and construct the project, which will generate up to 48 percent of Atlantic Cape's total annual electric consumption, at a set rate, independent of market rates. By entering into the agreement, the college will realize savings of $93,000 the first year and up to $1.6 million over the 15-year life of the contract.

The photovoltaic system includes the installation of carports in four parking lots on the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses.

Michael Renna, president of Marina Energy, credits Atlantic Cape's forward-thinking strategies for putting the college in a strong position to lead others in southern New Jersey to a more sustainable future. "As more and more institutions like Atlantic Cape turn to cleaner, renewable sources of energy, New Jersey thrives through financial savings, improved efficiency and increased green sector jobs."

Marina Energy planned to use local New Jersey labor and material suppliers, including Palmieri Electric of Buena and Southern New Jersey Steel Company of Vineland, to create jobs in and around the local community.

The solar project ties in to Atlantic Cape's Green Campus Initiative and moves the college toward environmental stewardship based on the efficient, responsible and sustainable use of resources.