Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been awarded grant funding under the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act for architectural and programmatic expansions at its two campuses in Medford and Westampton, Governor Phil Murphy, Acting Commissioner of Education Angelica Allen-McMillan and Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges announced on Wednesday.
In addition to the grant funding, Burlington County will also be providing a 25 percent match of the total cost of the project, said BCIT officials.
The Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, which was introduced in 2018, has dedicated $325 million in state bonds to expand county college and vocational school Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. BCIT will receive a total of over $16 million for already-submitted architectural and programmatic expansions, which include augmentation and renovation of the transportation, distribution and logistics classrooms on the Westampton Campus. The project will also incorporate the addition of an auto technology room, diesel technology room, and an outdoor covered garage area. At the Medford Campus, the welding technology room will undergo renovations and expansion, as well as expansion of the HVAC and green technologies program areas.
“We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our current floor plan by almost double in the targeted areas and continue to grow new and existing programs,” said BCIT-Westampton Principal Joe Venuto. “As we look to the future, the funding will allow us to maintain an industry standard not only by allowing us to service larger machinery in our Heavy Equipment program, but also providing the space to bring in state-of-the-art training equipment in all of the transportation and logistics programs. As such, the students will be more advanced and better prepared for post-secondary opportunities that await them.”
“We are extremely excited to be granted an opportunity to grow our footprint here at BCIT Medford. Our students and instructors in welding and HVAC will have the ability to work in an environment that will promote success for everyone, as they are exposed to quality instruction on cutting edge technology in their respective fields,” said BCIT-Medford Principal Mike Parker. “Both of these programs are flagship career and technical programs at BCIT and this will only further enhance what we are providing our students and the county in regards to preparing high-quality, skilled professionals in the area of HVAC and welding.”
BCIT officials say that with the improvements made through the funding, the school will be helped in fulfilling its mission to continue to prepare students and adults for their future through education reflecting the technical advances of the greater community and programs that enable them to become self-fulfilled, lifelong learners.
“This is an exciting chapter in our district history and will provide for the growth for many generations to come through the halls at BCIT,” said Dr. Christopher Nagy, Superintendent of Schools. “I wish to extend my gratitude to all of our administrators and CTE instructors who provided input into the project design, those in the County for all of their assistance throughout this process, and to our administrative team who worked with the architect and grant writer to provide key data and information for the submission of the grant applications. We are so proud of the collaborative effort made for these grant submissions. The grants are a tribute to this effort.”
“The Burlington County Institute of Technology does an incredible job preparing students and adults for careers in dozens of fields ranging from engineering and computer programming to automobile repair, logistics and health care technology,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell, the Commissioners’ liaison to BCIT and the Burlington County Special Services School District. “Both the Westampton and Medford campuses are already amazing places for students to learn the skills needed for the jobs of today and the future, and this state funding will help the Career and Technical Education programs at both schools expand so even more students can benefit from them.”
New Jersey Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, who co-sponsored the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, also applauded the funding announcement.
“It is great news that the Burlington County Institute of Technology will be receiving funding through the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, and Burlington County students will benefit from the important infrastructure investments,” said Assemblywoman Murphy. “As a sponsor of the legislation, my goal was to ensure that school security, modernization and infrastructure improvements would be a cornerstone in the next generation of higher education in New Jersey, and these efforts will serve educators, students and our communities for a bright future.”
BCIT fully and comprehensively prepares adolescents and adults of Burlington County to respond to societal needs through the development of career and technical education programs reflecting the technological advances of the greater community while meeting the educational needs of adolescent and adult learners. BCIT programs enable all students to become productive, self-fulfilled, lifelong learners; develops and maintains reciprocal relationships with both civic and business communities; and supports community-wide social, cultural, counseling, and career and technical education training programs while jointly developing apprenticeship and occupational training programs with local businesses, industries, and educational institutions.
This article originally appeared June 12 in TAPinto.