Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes applauded the announcement that the state will provide more than $95 million for construction projects at the six county colleges and universities.
The money is part of $1.3 billion in state funding for 176 higher education capital construction projects, including $750 million from the Building Our Future Bond Act that voters approved in November.
“This infusion of funds for construction projects on our local campuses is great news,” Hughes said. “Mercer County already has one of the most highly skilled and educated labor pools, and this funding will help the County draw in and retain the brightest of the bright. Collectively, Mercer’s colleges and universities cater to a wide range of students, and each institute not only adds to the quality of life in Mercer County but gives us an economic edge that helps keep our unemployment rate consistently lower than the state and national average.
“Few places can boast as many powerhouse universities and colleges as we can, and in turn they fuel our high-tech incubators and will continue to make us even more competitive into the future.”
The proposed awards, which await final approval by the legislature, include $57.5 million for The College of New Jersey in Ewing; $16.6 million for Thomas Edison State College in Trenton; $9.7 million for Mercer County Community College, which has campuses in West Windsor and Trenton; $6.5 million for Princeton University; $4.6 million for Rider University in Lawrence; and $645,323 for Princeton Theological Seminary.
In addition to last year’s bond authorization, funding for the statewide projects comes from four other higher education funding programs: the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, the Higher Education facilities Trust Fund, the Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund and the Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund.
Colleges and universities submitted more than 250 applications for funding; projects that were selected targeted academic programs, especially science, technology, engineering and math, according to the Governor’s Office. Institutions were required to detail how projects served students and aligned with New Jersey’s workforce needs.