By Femi Matti
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – With the completion of the ring road built around the perimeter of the campus to allow for safer vehicle-travel routes and increased parking, phase one of three phases of the transformation of Camden County College has reached its halfway mark.

Prior to the completion of the ring road, Madison Hall as well as the community center received a full makeover, connecting the two buildings together. The project gave the Madison Connector Building a 244-seat lecture theater, a 40-seat amphitheater as well as high-tech classrooms and offices. Renovations made to Madison Hall include 27 classrooms, two lecture halls and additional faculty offices.

“It’s nice to walk around a good-looking campus. Just because we’re a community college doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a nice campus,” says Ray Murtha, a second-year student at the college.

Moving forward with phase one, minor rehabilitation will be performed on the athletic fields on the campus. Upgrades and improvements to the baseball, soccer, softball and track fields will begin in the summer of 2011. The addition of bleachers and concessions are intended to transform the athletic fields into something more suitable to the college’s plan for its main campus.

The next major project of phase one is the construction of a science building that will include modern technology and laboratories to support the region’s booming science and healthcare industries. Brainstorming sessions held with the math, science and health career faculty and staff began in spring 2006.

“As a chemistry major, I am really excited for this new science building. I don’t think I will be around for its completion, being that construction hasn’t even started, but still, really excited,” says CCC student Andrew Ciavardone.

Ground was broken on the project last fall.

Other preparatory projects that were finished before the start of phase one include community center renovation, Wilson center renovation, CIM classroom/office renovation, Jefferson third floor renovation, mobile classroom building project and two new temporary parking lots.

All the projects in the preparatory, first, second and third phases were initiatives enacted by the Camden County Freeholders in May 2005. The unprecedented $83 million initiative will affect more than half of the facilities and structural amenities and will transform the Blackwood campus consistent with the master plan.

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