Christie present as Stockton breaks ground on science center -

Christie present as Stockton breaks ground on science center

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Governor Christie was the guest of honor Thursday afternoon at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, but the focus of the day’s event was the college’s yet-to-be-constructed second, new science facility.

"We graduate almost 24% of all science and math majors among the 8 state colleges and institutions, so having good facilities is extremely important,” said Stockton President Herman Saatkamp.

The Unified Science Center Squared will go up alongside the current science center.

"54,000 square feet, 32 labs, 7 classrooms, 40 faculty offices, a greenhouse and a vivarium,” rattled off Saatkamp.

"The new building for the Unified Science Center will further establish Stockton as a center of excellence for science education,” said Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks.

When it was his turn to speak, Governor Christie took the podium to a standing ovation.

"The most important thing is that for the first time in 25 years we're actually doing things to expand the capacities of our state universities to accept more students,’ said Christie.

Funding for the new facility comes in part from the Building Our Future Bond Act, which provides 750 million dollars in bonds for capital improvement at state institutions.

"We spend a significant amount of money on education in this state but I believe it is an investment in the future of our state,” said the governor.

"Our investment is in making sure every part of our state geographically is served fairly and appropriately with the type of facilities and the opportunities that will give our young men and women the chance to reach their full potential."

The new Unified Science Center is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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