ELIZABETH – On Aug. 2, 2018, Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined Union County College’s Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel and Union President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the newly renovated first floor and lower level of the Sidney Lessner Building at the college’s Elizabeth campus. Also present at the event were Union County Freeholder Vice Chairman Bette Jane Kowalski, Freeholders Angel Estrada and Al Mirabella, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Senator Joseph Cryan’s Chief of Staff Jessica Cohen, Elizabeth Councilman Manny Grova, Jr., CEO/President of the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce Gordon Haas, and Commissioner for the Elizabeth Board of Education Stanley Neron. Lessner’s first floor is the new home of a state-of-the-art Student Services Center, and the lower level has been reconfigured to better serve students in the the College’s Center for Economic and Workforce Development (CEWD).
In his remarks, Dean of the Elizabeth campus Dr. Lester Sandres Rapalo expressed his gratitude to those who helped the project become a reality. He noted how the bright and inviting space aligns with the College’s mission of transforming student lives, one at time by accelerating student success from the first moment a student steps on campus.
The new Student Services Center is now the focal point for all student services at the Elizabeth campus. The Center is the home of the following departments: admissions and registration; advising, career, and transfer services; student accounts; financial aid; disability services; and testing. In addition, the Public Safety area has been expanded on the first floor providing a more visible presence.
The renovations to the lower level include new testing classrooms and training rooms to provide an excellent learning experience for those serviced by CEWD programs, as well as new work stations for the employees to better serve students.
“The Lessner Building has been the mainstay of the Elizabeth Campus since it’s opening in 1992. While the renovated spaces will help continue the College’s tradition of providing optimal services to our credit and non-credit students, today marks a recommitment with the modernization of those services,” stated Mr. Richel.
The Sidney Lessner Building is located at 12 West Jersey Street. The seven-story building was built in 1965 by the Elizabethtown Gas Company and initially housed 650 employees. The original building of the campus, its reconfigurations through the decades, including the space celebrated today, allows it to serve thousands of students each year. For more information about the College and its campuses, go to www.ucc.edu.