“This is a much needed investment in our students,” declared Essex County College President Anthony E. Munroe as he officially opened the school’s new 21,000 square foot Information Commons during the November 21 ribbon cutting.
“I have deep appreciation to our faculty and staff, and our community partners, who are all helping to ensure that Essex County College continues to ‘Exceed Expectations.’”
The $6.7 million renovation project was made possible by the 2012 New Jersey “Building Our Future” Bond. The work converted the old top level of the College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Library into a modern Information Commons.
Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, noted that the state’s community college system has been in place for 50years. “From day one, Essex County College has been one of the foundational elements of our community college success story. Dr. Munroe is already making a difference, not just here at the College, but also at our monthly presidents’ meetings,” said Dr. Nespoli.
College Board of Trustees Chair Thomas McDermott said the opening of the Information Commons is part of “fulfilling our obligation to our students and the community. We will continue to move our College forward toward great success in the future.”
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo called the Information Commons opening “an exciting day for Essex County College. This is all about students starting their careers here.”
Highlights of the new Information Commons include:
- 141 computer stations providing integrated access to multimedia and electronic information
- Seven classrooms, including a teaching lab, each with a capacity of 25-30
- Two breakout rooms for group studies
- Library staff office space
- Two restrooms
- A new outside hall entrance
- Other highlights include a water wall and a “living” (or plant) wall to help absorb sound. A cabling room in the Information Commons is also part of the project.
The lower level of the Library, on the College’s 3rd level, is 19,000 square feet.