FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SUSSEX COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S PLANS FOR THE MCGUIRE PROPERTY IN NEWTON
In talking with people around the county, we have frequently heard the same questions asked. To better inform people about the project, we have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs).
FAQS ON PURCHACE OF THE MCGUIRE PROPERTY BY SUSSEX COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Q. What does SCCC plan to do with the McGuire property in Newton?
A. SCCC plans to develop the McGuire property on Main St, Newton, for a Technical Careers Center to house programs in automotive technology, welding, machine tool, diesel technology, and a Culinary Institute with a restaurant for training students.
Q. Is the town of Newton involved in planning this project?
A. YES. SCCC will partner with the Town of Newton, along with private entities to develop housing, retail and parking – all of which will be ratables -- on the site.
Q. Is SCCC leasing or purchasing the property?
A. SCCC entered into a lease-to-purchase agreement with the McGuires on July 24, 2018, after approval by the SCCC Board of Trustees. The purchase of the property will not be completed until the NJDEP fully clears the property for environmental issues. The McGuires will be responsible for all remediation of environmental issues on the property. SCCC’s environmental consultants are currently evaluating the property to determine the issues that need to be addressed.
Q. How much will the project cost?
A. Full development of McGuire project will cost $4.2 million over several years, including the purchase price, according to our engineers and architects. The purchase price for the property is $2 million and the McGuries are paying $250,000 to partner with the college in this project.
Q. How will the project be funded?
A. The monies earmarked for the McGuire project are Chapter 12 monies. The Chapter 12 monies have already been committed by the state and county and the bonds have already been sold. NJ State law provides that the state and county equally fund capital projects each year for all 19 community colleges in NJ. These monies cannot be used for operating expenses.
The Board of School Estimate approved $2.8 million in Chapter 12 monies in 2018 – 50% of which is bonded by the state. The “reallocation” of money was from another construction project to the development of the programs to be housed in the McGuire property. NO NEW MONEY WAS ALLOCATED. The bonds for these Chapter 12 monies have already been sold and the funds are available.
Q. Isn’t it cheaper to build a new facility rather than retool a 100 year old building?
A. NO. The McGuire buildings are well suited to the programs that will be housed on the site and utilizing them will cost 2.5 times LESS than new construction of the same facilities on or off the main campus, according to our architects and engineers.
Q. Won’t SCCC be educating students who will leave the county?
A. NO. 85% of our graduates stay in Sussex County and having skills that will provide them with well-paying jobs in the county will only increase that number. The college is already partnering with businesses and institutions in the county to satisfy workforce needs. There are approximately 50 machine shops all around the county that cannot hire and keep the machinists and welders they need here in the county. A new facility is being built in Andover that will need machinists, welders and skilled technical workers that SCCC can provide through these new programs. Private companies in the county have already contributed more than $500,000 for the development of these new programs, on the condition they will be housed at the McGuire site.
Q. How will the SCCC’s technical careers graduates will differ from those of the technical high school?
A. They differ in three very significant ways:
- SCCC technical careers graduates will have college degrees, enabling them to advance through different levels of jobs within an industry.
- SCCC technical careers graduates will have more than a trade – they will have business, marketing, technical and management skills needed to own and operate their own businesses if they choose to do so.
- SCCC technical careers graduates have the experience that an 18 year old high school graduate does not ordinarily have. Through their on-the-job training at the McGuire facility, SCCC students will understand their job responsibilities to be productive employees.
Lorraine C. Parker, Chair
Board of Trustees, Sussex County Community College