A WEC in Progress: NJIT's Campus Makeover Underscores a Commitment to Academic Enterprise
While Highlanders enjoyed time off over the summer, NJIT continued to make headway on the numerous renovation and construction projects happening on campus.
A fresh landscape design and new signage were installed in front of the Guttenberg Information Technologies Center (GITC), while the glass curtain facade of the 200,000-square-foot Wellness and Events Center (WEC) — the centerpiece of the university’s $300 million plan to revamp the campus — was emplaced.
"NJIT continues to invest in the renewal of its existing facilities in addition to adding new spaces, with the goal of providing an exceptional teaching, learning and living environment,” said Andrew Christ, vice president of real estate development and capital operations. “I am proud of my team for making these projects happen, and we will continue to work hard on behalf of the students, faculty, staff and alumni of NJIT."
From the freshly-painted walls in Laurel Hall and the revamped décor on the second floor of the Campus Center to the expansion of the new Life Sciences and Engineering Center, here’s an update on the campus improvements that took place this summer.
WEC Nears Completion
Great strides were made during the summer to ready WEC for a November 2017 opening. Flooring, audio and video systems and track surfaces are currently being installed. The locker rooms have been supplied with storage space and shower rooms, and the last coat of paint was applied to the walls in the high-tech meeting rooms and breakout spaces. Once completed, WEC will boast a 25-meter swimming pool, a 10,000-square-foot turf space, and a 3,500-seat sports arena. Barring an unanticipated setback, Convocation will be held at WEC Sept. 27, giving the campus community a sneak peek at the new facility.
Revamping the Second Floor of the Campus Center
With the help of the student senate and Graduate Student Association, the second floor of the Campus Center was given a fresh paint job and outfitted with new carpeting and furniture. The refresh provides students with additional space for casual interaction, quiet study and informal gatherings.
The Bookstore Gets a New Address
In partnership with Follett, NJIT's bookstore vendor, the Facilities Services Department was relocated from the Specht Building to an off-campus location, freeing up valuable space for the new bookstore. The new facility is equipped with a lounge, which doubles as a waiting area for students using the NJIT/Rutgers shuttle system. Additional enhancements will include new doors, windows and landscaping to create a welcoming outdoor gathering space. Relocating the bookstore has opened up additional eating and casual interaction space on the first floor of the Campus Center, along with additional office space for the student senate, which will follow later in the academic year.
The Life Sciences and Engineering Center is Ready to Roll
The new Life Sciences and Engineering Center creates a multi-disciplined life sciences building that provides 21st-century research facilities and new opportunities for collaboration and learning. The new structure connects to the Otto H. York Center for Environmental Engineering and Science to form a cohesive complex that increases square footage by 57 percent and leaves room for a 47,000-square-foot expansion in the future. Additionally, a two-story atrium and presentation space will provide opportunities for informal learning, gathering and teaching. The new facility also offers monumental stairs with seating, a new exterior plaza and a second-floor lounge area, giving students more options for cozy nooks in which to study, read and relax. The building will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 21.
A Brand New Entryway for GITC
The entrance of GITC, which is one of the largest buildings on campus and home to Ying Wu College of Computing, has been remodeled with new signage and landscaping. The design aligns with NJIT’s landscape master plan, uniting an arrangement of colors and hardscape elements found elsewhere on campus.
Laurel Hall Gets a Refresh
In partnership with the residence life office, the common areas of Laurel Hall received an upgrade this past summer. New lighting, paint and carpeting help to soften hard spaces and absorb sound. This light refit is part of a larger plan to improve the residence halls, and will continue over the next few years. Redwood Hall and Cypress Hall were updated in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Revitalizing Labs and Research Centers
Significant improvements continue to be made to NJIT research laboratories, providing first-class facilities for researchers in multiple disciplines. Labs in Colton Hall, Faculty Memorial Hall, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, Tiernan Hall, the Life Sciences and Engineering Center, and GITC were modified over the past months to support the university’s transformative research efforts.
What’s Coming Down the Pike?
As the new school year unfolds, look out for the infrastructure replacement of Faculty Memorial Hall and the renovation of Lecture Hall 1 in Tiernan Hall. Also on the horizon is Makerspace at NJIT, a $10 million, 9,500-square-foot facility that will heed the call for innovation, invention and production in today’s burgeoning science, technology and engineering economy. The space will feature 24-hour access to the university’s latest technologies and will be a force for economic growth and workforce development, bringing manufacturers onto the campus and providing them with the tools to build and test prototypes of their most innovative products.