Former Central High School is now NJIT’s Central King Building
by Newswire | April 14, 2017
Two hundred NJIT students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the public were on hand yesterday for the official ribbon cutting of the newly renovated Central King Building–the same building that was once home to Newark’s Central High School.
The renovation is part of a campus transformation meant to to enhance the student experience and burnish NJIT’s reputation as a leading public polytechnic university, and will be a focal point for the school’s biology program.
“Newark has given much to NJIT, and NJIT has given much in return,” said NJIT President Joel Bloom during his remarks at the ceremony. “So it is especially gratifying to know the historic structure behind me, which was home to thousands and thousands of Newark Central High School students over the years, will serve as an important resource to NJIT, the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey and our entire region for many years to come.”
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno said that as the largest single project funded by the State of New Jersey through the 2012 Building Our Future Bond Act, the Central King Building will provide the next generation of youth with a state-of-the-art learning hub where “ordinary students can do extraordinary things” and where student pioneers will spark “innovations that can help health and well-being.”
Rochelle R. Hendricks, New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education, called the renovation “a testament to brilliance and imagination.”
“We are indebted to you, President Bloom, and the students for being cutting-edge in the State of New Jersey,” she said. “NJIT bears witness to a place that is beating the odds.”
Noting that “we are at an amazing time in the history of medicine,” Dr. Andrew L. Pecora, chief innovations officer and vice president of cancer services at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), discussed HUMC’s partnership with the Healthcare Delivery Systems Innovation Lab (iLab) at NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), which will include the development of innovation and commercialization centers.
“We could not think of a better place than NJIT and NJII,” said Pecora.
Stephen DePalma, class of 1972 and chairman of the NJIT Board of Trustees, said that the Central King Building renovation is a critical step in positioning the university to continue on an upward trajectory.
“The Central King Building renovation is part of a campus transformation that will improve our capabilities in research and innovation, enable us to attract faculty members who are among the best and brightest in their disciplines, and improve the educational experiences of and outcomes attained by our students,” DePalma said.
Also in attendance were Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who described the Central King Building as “the crown jewel of the city of Newark.”
The renovation of the five-story Central King Building is the first wave of a $300 million capital building campaign that seeks to invigorate research, teaching and community life at NJIT.
Two new buildings are soon to follow: a 24,500-square-foot Life Sciences and Engineering Building and a 200,000-square-foot Wellness and Events Center with a 4,500-seat conferencing space that transforms into a 3,500-seat arena.
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