JERSEY CITY – A proposal for a new STEM high school to be operated by Hudson County Schools of Technology is expected to be built as part of an agreement announced today between Jersey City, Liberty Science Center and Hudson County.
Liberty Science High School would be located within Jersey City’s new cutting-ed SciTech Scity, a planned 30-acre innovation campus designed to be a revolutionary technological hub for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, and scientists working together to create a community for learning and innovation.
The state-of-the-art school will be built next to Liberty Science Center and will include a robust set of skill-centric classes for K-12 students.
Under the new collaboration, the Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) will oversee operations at the new public county magnet high school to provide 400 science-talented high school students from across Hudson County with a unique opportunity for a curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that will leverage a work education program around the 200+ technology startup companies that will call SciTech City home.
The City of Jersey City donated 12.5 acres to SciTech Scity and will provide financial assistance for school operating costs. To date, LSC has raised $27 million in philanthropic donations for the innovation campus, including $5 million specifically for the public high school.
LSC plans to break ground on SciTech Scity in 2021 and open the first phase, including the Edge Works incubator, in 2023. Edge Works will provide nearly 100,000 square feet of research labs, private studios, open workspaces, and a conference center. Also onsite will be Scholars Village, a residential component for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and their families.
“We are revolutionizing what public education can accomplish, and this partnership with the county is a significant step towards our vision of creating an ecosystem of innovation to educate and inspire future entrepreneurs and scientists,” said Mayor Steve Fulop.
“The students will also gain direct access to businesses onsite for unique internship opportunities to further cultivate their career paths,” Fulop said. “Overall, SciTech Scity will establish Jersey City as a worldwide destination for innovative forward-thinkers, bringing thousands of jobs and countless opportunities to our area.”
“We are excited to work with the county and the city to create a world-class science high school,” said Paul Hoffman, president and CEO of Liberty Science Center. “The students will have access to LSC’s unique assets, like our Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and to internships and mentorships at the cutting-edge startup companies in our Edge Works business incubator.”
“Hudson County is home to many of the most talented students in New Jersey, and it is critical we provide them with opportunities and resources to advance their future careers,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“The plans for our newest county public school reinforce our commitment to do just that, and as a former educator myself, I am immensely proud to be part of this process as plans begin to take shape,” DeGise said.
HCST will consult with the Liberty Science Center on program development, curriculum, and the hiring of staff.
“At the Hudson County Schools of Technology, our mission has always been to inspire creative and independent thinking through diverse learning opportunities,” said HCST Superintendent Amy Lin- Rodriguez.
“Our vision for this campus mirrors our commitment to providing students with an actively engaging, Career and Technical Education learning experience,” Rodriguez said “We look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build an innovative school for Hudson County students.”
Under the new partnership, the Hudson County Improvement Authority will be designated as the Project Developer to construct the school.
“The Hudson County Improvement Authority, as it has always done, is availing itself to the County and its partners in order to assist in the development and financial planning of a new high school in Jersey City,” said Norman Guerra, CEO of the Hudson County Improvement Authority.
The idea of SciTech Scity began in 2015 when Mayor Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency awarded Liberty Science Center with the redevelopment rights to 12.5 acres of land adjacent to LSC and Liberty State Park.
Fulop challenged LSC CEO Paul Hoffman to develop a project that would be transformative for the region and further strengthen New Jersey as a leader in scientific and technological innovation.
The founding sponsors of SciTech Scity include Frank J. Guarini, David Barry, EY, Verizon, Bank of America, Joe and Millie Williams, and the city of Jersey City. The major supporters of Liberty Science High School include John and Laura Overdeck, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, Josh and Judy Weston, Millie and Joe Williams, PSE&G, and Susan Keating and Norm Worthington.
Information about SciTech Scity can be found at SciTechScity.com.