The Bridgewater Campus and other satellite locations at Raritan Valley Community College were always envisioned as temporary measures. Now, after about five year, the planned proper home is around the corner.
The Workforce Training Center (WFTC), a 47,000-square-foot building that will be located next to the retention pond across from Lot 2, is scheduled to be completed next summer.
Once the WFTC opens, the lease for the Bridgewater Campus—which was rented from Somerset County in 2010—will be terminated and the Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School will use it.
“Bringing all the students to the main campus (in Branchburg) will allow them to participate in campus life,” Trojan said in an interview with The Record in summer 2014. “They’ll have access to the student center, all the clubs and it will be a much better program support than we can ever deliver at Bridgewater.”
The WFTC is designed by SSP Architectural Group of Bridgewater. They previously worked on RVCC’s West Building and on the expansions of the testing center, admissions office, library and Arts Building’s roof.
Half of the building will include double-height areas to house trade programs. The other half will be two stories and will include classrooms, offices and spaces for personal-care programs.
According to Trojan, the area for automotive technology will be about 4,500 square feet and advanced manufacturing will be about 2,500 square feet. Environmental controls will include two rooms totaling about 4,500 square feet. Allied Health Programs will take place in a mezzanine area that has the equivalent of about six classrooms.
The cosmetology salon will look like a medium to high-end commercial salon, have more stations than the Bridgewater Campus and total about 3,800 square feet. The salon will also stay open year-round and offer more services to the public than the Bridgewater salon.
"The space is very different. That's why the normal college building layout won't be able to support the programs well," Trojan said.
Technology in the WFTC is tailored toward individual programs and portability. "This makes it easier so when you’re walking about the equipment, rather than walking back and forth from a computer, you have a tablet with you,” Trojan said.
The construction will have a tilt-up design, which is used by most warehouses in New Jersey.
"This is a strong and quick construction that lasts hundreds of years,” says Brian O’ Rourke, Executive Director of Facilities & Grounds. “It is also designed to aesthetically match the rest of campus.”
O’ Rourke said the design has many energy efficient aspects to it, since it is concrete and the walls will be about 10 inches thick. RVCC is aiming for a LEED Silver Certification and will include a rainwater harvesting system and recycled materials for construction.
Featured image caption:
An architectural rendition of the Workforce Training Center.
Contributor: Patty Busch.