Education

REBUILDING SHU: $11.7M in State Aid Funding 3 Projects

June 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Some basic decisions about the details and the timing of the big rebuilding campaign getting underway at Seton Hall University have been shaped by the passage last November of the $750 million “Building Our Future” bond act, the proceeds of which will provide construction funding to public and private colleges and universities in the state, including Seton Hall.

“With the bond question on the ballot in November, we and our higher education colleagues and many other supporters conducted a comprehensive campaign asking the voters of New Jersey to approve the state issuing bonds for higher ed improvements,” said Matthew Borowick, associate vice president of alumni and government relations at Seton Hall. “It passed with over 60 percent of the vote – an amazing statement just days after Sandy’s destruction.”

  • REBUILDING SHU: Part 2 of 11. Seton Hall University embarks on the biggest campus renovation in a generation, hoping to make life better for students without making life worse for residents of South Orange. Read Part 1.

Seton Hall is one of 46 institutions of higher education in New Jersey that have won preliminary approval for a range of construction projects to be funded with proceeds from the bond act and four other state higher education funding programs. If the state Legislature approves the expenditures, the colleges and universities will receive a total of $1.3 billion in aid that Gov. Chris Christie has said will “open a new era of opportunity.”

Sign Up for E-News

Seton Hall is slated to receive $11,713,532 in state aid, university officials said. That is more than any other private institution of higher education in the state.

Seton Hall won approval for three separate projects.

  • It is slated to get $6.3 million from the bond issue along with $1.2 million from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund for the construction of a new Stafford Hall. The university will have to put in about $4 million of its own money to complete the $12 million project. The state aid is in the form of grants that do not have to be repaid.
     
  • Another $2.18 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund will be used for the rehabilitation of the Nursing School building (HVAC system), and for lighting at the Richie Regan Recreation Center.
     
  • Just under $2 million from two separate higher education funds will be used to upgrade the university’s technology systems. This will include projects to increase bandwidth on the information network, replace fiber optic cables and create redundant capabilities that will make the system more reliable.

Along with the applications, Seton Hall was required to provide an overall campus master plan, a justification for the new classroom space, and an explanation of how the projects support state education initiatives. Importantly, the university also had to show that the projects were “shovel ready” and could begin by July 1, 2013.

“The 'Building Our Future' bond act funding was specific for non-revenue producing projects—not housing, not parking—so it was really focused on classrooms,” said Stephen Graham, chief financial officer at Seton Hall University since 2012.

When the bond act was put on the ballot, university officials took another look at the overall master plan for campus rebuilding and decided that it made financial sense to delay the start of construction on a new university center, which was to have gotten underway in 2014 and therefore could not be considered shovel-ready.

The university pushed back the start of the university center project from 2014 to 2016 and instead moved ahead with plans for replacing Stafford Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus. Stafford, which is located behind President’s Hall, was severely damaged by fires at the turn of the last century and was never fully rebuilt. It will be demolished and a three-story building containing 12 new classrooms will take its place.

“Stafford Hall was an under-utilized space and it’s going to allow us to add classroom space and expand our capacity to teach students,” Graham said.  “And the goal of these funds and the “Building our Future” act is really to give more access to New Jersey students for higher education.”

Once the applications are accepted, the University plans to move forward as soon as possible. The Stafford Hall construction is planned to begin this summer and the building could be ready for use in fall 2014.

A controversy over the higher education funding arose when The Star-Ledger revealed that some religiously affiliated institutions had received bond money and were using it for buildings restricted to religious training. Although Seton Hall has a seminary on campus, the bond money it received from the state is being used for academic buildings and facilities that are open to all students, regardless of their religious background.

Seton Hall’s grants were not called into question, although those made to the Princeton Theological Seminary and the Beth Medrash Govoha yeshiva for Talmudic studies in Lakewood have been challenged.

This series was reported and written by the Advanced Reporting class at Seton Hall University. This article was written by Natalie Negrotti, a May 2013 graduate.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

New Field Usage Fees in Maplewood

August 23, 2016

As some of you are well aware of by now, a new township ordinance has been passed stating that there will be a new "Field usage fee" for all activities taking place in DeHart, Maplecrest, Memorial, and Borden fields. 

These new fees will go to future repairs, renovations and maintenance to our parks and fields. For Maplewood and South Orange residents, in addition to any current ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe - August 22 to August 28

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your every day needs!

This week's specials are:

Boar’s Head Salsalito Turkey $9.99 lb (Deli)
Ciuti Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $7.99
Total Fage Yogurts 35.3 oz. $6.29
Earthbound Farm Organic Salads 2/ $6.00
Pete & Gerry’s Organic Medium Eggs $2.99

See all specials here.

Ashley Marketplace and Cafe is open 7 ...

South Orange Launches Humane Program to Reduce Feral Cat Population

On June 27, 2016, the Board of Health in South Orange enacted an Ordinance to address the growing feral cat population in the Township.

For years, the Township and many other municipalities in NJ have tried unsuccessfully to combat feral cat overpopulation by trapping and removing cats. Village President Sheena Collum and the Board of Health have decided it’s time to try something ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6753ec194adf815ad2cf_farmers-market_2016_300x250

Wed, August 24, 2:00 PM

South Orange Nj Transit Train Station- Parking Lot, South Orange

25th Annual South Orange Farmers Market

Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness Home & Garden Other

Carousel_image_053fa1f8e6f1b1538ce6_ricaltons_12

Wed, August 24, 7:30 PM

Ricalton's Village Tavern, South Orange

Trivia Night at Ricalton's Village Tavern

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_c3f90baca7f0019d8083_boccone_south_2

Fri, August 26, 12:00 PM

Boccone South Restaurant, South Orange

Boccone South Lunch Special - Tues. to Sat.

Food & Drink

Obituary: Jeanette M. Estoye, Age 37, of Maplewood

August 17, 2016

Jeanette Manning Estoye, loving wife, mother, sister, and friend, 37, of Maplewood died suddenly on August 14, 2016. 

Born in Voorhees, Camden County on Jan. 14, 1979, and raised in Audubon, NJ, Jeanette lived in Maplewood for the past 7 years. She was a beautiful, independent woman with an adventurous spirit. She earned her BFA in Graphic Design from Winthrop University in South ...

Obituary: Jeremy Craig Mathews of South Orange

Jeremy Craig Mathews, 44, of South Orange, NJ died suddenly on Friday, August 12, 2016 in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. 

Born in Chester, PA, on Nov. 5, 1971, Jeremy had lived in metropolitan New York for 21 years with the last four being in South Orange, NJ. He graduated from Temple University in 1994 with a BA in Journalism. He was SVP, Group Partner, Integrated Investment for Universal ...

Obituary for Dave Curtin, Age 58, Former Columbia High School Coach and Athletic Director

The following was posted to the South Orange-Maplewood Education Association's Facebook page on Aug. 11:

It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Dave Curtin. He was a P.E. teacher and the former Athletic Director at Columbia High School. Dave recently turned 58 years old last week. Dave was a devoted husband, father of three and a grandfather of two. He also taught ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Credit Cards Stolen at South Orange Pool

August 23, 2016

South Orange Police Blotter as of August 22

Theft of credit cards - A South Orange resident stated that sometime between 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on August 20, an unknown actor had removed credit cards from her purse while she was at the town pool. The actor(s) had used several of the stolen credit cards to make purchases. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

DWI/arrest - Nnamdi ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Several Thefts; Report of Suspicious Person/Vehicle

August 16 - Bicycle Theft; Between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. a bicyle left on the lawn of a North Terr. residence was stolen.

August 18- Bicycle Theft; During the overnight hours a bicycle was stolen from an unsecured garage on Hudson Ave.

August 17 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 4 a.m., a Chevy pickup truck was stolen from a business on Springfield ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary

South Orange Police Blotter as of August 18

Burglary to dwelling - A Cameron Rd. resident stated that on Monday, August 15, at approximately 10 a.m., he encountered an actor being described as a black male approximately 5' 9" in height, facial hair, and wearing a black t-shirt and basketball shorts inside his residence.

The victim stated after he discovered the unknown actor he ...

The Argument in Favor of Restoring a Full Time Librarian

August 18, 2016

The argument in favor of restoring a full time librarian to South Orange Middle School (SOMS) can be made convincingly with facts. There is very real data showing the positive impact of a full time librarian. The financial resources that would go towards a dance teacher could easily be redirected to a librarian. 

And while these logical arguments are important, the experiences of ...

Middle School Librarians Should Be Restored for the 2016-17 School Year

It has come to our attention that yesterday the district was interviewing for a middle school dance teacher, a position that has not been in the middle schools for at least ten years. How can the school district be stating to us and others that they can not reverse the decision to cut the middle school librarian position due to a "difficult budget cycle," while at the same time ...

SOMA Open Houses on Sunday, August 21

Featured Listing, 9 Lowell Place, West Orange

Come tour this beautifully renovated five bedroom home in the Upper Gregory neighborhood of West Orange. There's nothing to do but move in! As you enter the home, the living room beckons with a working wood-burning fireplace and built-in shelves. An updated gourmet kitchen with a stainless steel SubZero fridge, ...

Some Like it Hot

“Oh boy!” exclaimed my husband. “There’s a hot sauce shop in town!”

We were away antiquing for the weekend in a quaint village populated by Bed and Breakfasts, art galleries, and apparently, a hot sauce shop. For my husband, this was like discovering that someone had bought you a lottery ticket and you won… if the lottery prize was a fireball that would ...

Going for Brass

I get all teary-eyed watching the Olympics on TV.  You  know, the human drama, the sacrifice, the dedication, the thrill of competition, the athletic lip sync murmur to the national anthem on the podium.  

 

This year I discovered that there are many other Olympic champions besides the usual cadre of spring-wound gymnastic pixies and ferociously wedged, hairless swimmers ...

Ionesco’s ‘Exit the King’ Makes for Powerful Drama at New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – There’s dying and then there’s dying in long, drawn-out agony. Well, if you’ve been king for 400 years, you won’t disappear quietly. No doubt King Berenger thinks he’s immortal and, like many of us today, lingers long after he’s of any use to himself or others.

The king on "Exit The King" is ravenously alive early on, still ...

TAP Visits Essex County Airport to Celebrate National Aviation Day

August 22, 2016

FAIRFIELD, NJ – In honor of National Aviation Day, the TAP into West Essex office staff took a field trip on Friday to the local runway at Essex County Airport, located at 27 Wright Way in Fairfield.

Upon arrival, Jessica Parkes, co-owner of TAPintoWestEssex.net, and Conor McCloskey, TAP marketing consultant, were greeted by Tom Gomez, manager of the airport’s governing body, the ...

Essex County Receives Bond Rating Upgrade to AA-Plus

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that Fitch Ratings has increased Essex County’s long-term bond rating to AA-plus, which is a two-step improvement over the former rating of AA Stable that was assigned in 2013.

This is the second positive bond ratings increase that Essex County received this year; in March, Moody’s Investors Services, ...

A New York State of Mind in Clark, New Jersey

August 21, 2016

CLARK, NJ – You may be right! I may be crazy! But “we didn’t start the fire.”  Swing by Oak Ridge Park on Wednesday night, Aug. 24, as Union County finishes off its 2016 Summer Arts Festival concert series with New York State of Mind, a Billy Joel tribute band.

“We wrap up another exciting summer of entertainment in our parks with a fabulous performance ...

Union Resdent Killed in Newark Bus Crash

UNION, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced today that the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating a fatal bus crash that resulted in the death of a NJ TRANSIT bus driver and one passenger. 

Shortly after 6 a.m. today, Aug. 19, a NJ TRANSIT bus -- the 59 ...