From left are Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, BC Student Government Vice-President elect Sharif Thomas, Board Chair Martin McKerrow, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo '63, Provident Bank Vice President George Celantano, President Richard Levao and Bloomfield Township Mayor Raymond McCarthy.
Bloomfield College board members, administration, alumni, and guests witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for what will become the largest building ever constructed by the college. The four-story residence hall, to be built at the corner of Franklin and Broad Streets, had a symbolic groundbreaking on May 10, 2013, with Assemblymen Thomas Giblin and Ralph Caputo ’63, Bloomfield Township Mayor Raymond McCarthy, student government vice-president elect Sharif Thomas, college board chair Martin McKerrow, President Richard Levao, and Provident Bank VP George Celantano all wielding shovels and wearing hard hats. Behind them is the now-empty space that will become a focal point for downtown Bloomfield in the next 18 months.
President Levao talked about the need for such a building. The trend in colleges is becoming residential as Bloomfield College is attracting more international students to its programs. The new residence hall will allow enhancement of summer programs such as Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF). “We are partners with the Township of Bloomfield, working towards a revitalized downtown and increasing the value of the area,” said Levao. Mayor McCarthy echoed these thoughts. “Bloomfield College is moving us towards a new and vital downtown area.”
A new 80,434-square foot, four-story residence hall will feature one-, four- and eight-bed apartments for students and college guests, six study rooms, lounges, activity centers and multi-purpose areas, student fitness center, movie theater, rooftop courtyard and a garage. It will also have a small complex for college offices.
Bookseller Barnes and Noble will reside in over 5,000 square feet of the Franklin Street building with a new bookstore, café and convenience shop that will be open to the public and the campus community.
The architect of this new building is S & L Architects, who are well-acquainted with the historic significance of the area and have redesigned campus buildings to accommodate both the 21st century academic needs with the 20th century look of downtown. The construction manager is Torcon Inc. of Red Bank, NJ. The building will be constructed according to LEED silver certificate standards, making it both energy-efficient and sustainable.
Assemblyman Giblin said, “As vice chair of the assembly committee on higher education, we look for ways to keep New Jersey students in the state. Having a new residence hall will have more students looking at Bloomfield College and discovering this jewel in Bloomfield Township.”
The anticipated date of occupancy is September 2014.