New High-Tech Science Building at CCC’s Blackwood Campus
By Christina Ellis
It has taken Camden County College about 40 years to make this change; but it’s finally going to happen. Construction on the 105,000 square feet science building will begin at the end of this summer. It will be located on the Blackwood Campus behind Taft Hall. The new building will include 10 biology labs, 6 chemistry labs, 27 general classrooms and lecture rooms, a teaching kitchen for food and nutrition science, a medical lab, surgical suite, a technology science lab, larger dental hygiene clinic, student lounge, and a cyber café. An interactive arena classroom and a lecture hall with instant polling capabilities are included in the general classrooms category.
Vitetta, the firm hired to control the design and construction, has estimated the project to cost about $33 million dollars. The costs are being paid for by bonds that were issued when plans for the renovations began back in 2005. The bonds were issued in 2005, 2007, and 2008, and the money came from the county, state, and College.
The renovations will make more advanced technology available to those studying the sciences. Dr. Wendy Blume, Dean of Math, Science and Health Careers at CCC, said these changes will allow for a more sophisticated study of cell biology, genetics, and nanotechnology. She said the labs in Taft Hall are 40 years old and she is “looking forward to having newer, modern, more sophisticated labs”.
Completion of the project is expected to take approximately two years so most of the details about new courses and degree programs have not been determined yet. What is certain is that the practical nursing program, which is currently only offered at the Camden campus, will be available at the new building. The small size of Taft Hall restricts how many students can be accepted into the dental hygiene program. The larger building will allow for the dental hygiene program to expand the number of students being accepted into the program from 22 to 25. Dr. Blume believes the new technology is very important to all related studies, but she came to life with enthusiasm when she spoke about the increase in course offerings. She said, “The thing I’m most excited about is having the space to offer more classes.”