N.J. college plans expansion with new west Jersey campus in Flemington
The education desert known as Hunterdon County is no more, as Georgian Court University announced plans to open an academic building in Flemington as early as January 2019 as part of a planned redevelopment project.
Georgian Court University President Joseph Marbach and developer Jack Cust, Jr. announced their joint efforts to bring higher education to the only county in New Jersey lacking it during a press conference Tuesday held along with Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner and Freeholder John Lanza.
“It’s our pleasure to help come and serve the needs of Hunterdon County,” Marbach said Tuesday morning. “Our mission is to serve the underserved; usually this is economically underserved, but Hunterdon and Flemington offer us a great opportunity to serve those who are geographically underserved.”
The Lakewood-based Catholic university signed a letter of intent to occupy up to 30,000-square feet of Courthouse Square. The plan includes an academic building, Dean of Admissions Justin Roy said.
Cust expects to break ground on the redevelopment project as soon as it is approved and said he’s confident the two phase project will be ready for students in early 2019.
A key vote on the project, that includes several blocks in downtown Flemington and the historic Union Hotel, is expected to happen at the Flemington Borough Council’s next meeting on Dec. 11.
The focus of Flemington’s satellite campus will be to serve transfer students and non-traditional adult students, and offer more market-driven programs, including data and health specializations, Marbach said. This will include traditional classes, but also hybrid classes with an online component.
The university is in discussions with Hunterdon Medical Center to service needs of the health sciences community, looking to offer courses including population health, as well as expanding nursing education through Raritan Valley Community College.
The university is also exploring a dual admission program with two-year school Raritan Valley, Roy said, allowing students to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Flemington in timely fashion at a discounted rate.
“Part of our mission is to provide affordable and accessible education to the residents of central and southern New Jersey,” Marbach noted. “We believe this location offers us a great opportunity to expand the Georgian Court footprint.”
The university has recently opened Hazlet and Cumberland satellite campuses. It also offers dual admission programs with various community colleges, including Middlesex, Brookdale and Mercer community colleges.