New Jersey City University is kicking off fundraising for the Caroline and Frank Guarini Sr. Performing Arts Center.
In May, former congressman, philanthropist and real estate developer Frank Guarini donated a record $10 million to the school – the largest gift in its history – with half of that serving as the lead funding for the PAC.
NJCU said it aims to raise $10 million over two years to bring the 25,437-square-foot performance space – featuring a nearly 500-seat theater and 100-seat recital hall, two large dance studios, dressing rooms, scenery fabrication shop and storage area, grand lobby and special event space – to completion.
Guarini PAC is set to be the cornerstone of NJCU’s $400 million redevelopment project University Place. The project will see 22 acres of Jersey City’s West Side developed, setting up a community for 1,600 residents and students, featuring a 425-bed residence hall, 52,305 square feet of education space and 25,437 square feet of space dedicated to entertainment. In addition, four mixed-use properties will bring 700 condominiums and 90,000 square feet of dining and retail space – possible through $250 million in private investments.
“Working together with the forward-looking city, county, and state officials who saw the need for the revitalization of Jersey City’s West Side, University Place was launched as a ‘P3’ – Public-Private Partnership – thanks to the engagement of a team of entrepreneurial developers. The buildings are constructed at no cost to NJCU students or the University,” NJCU President Sue Henderson said in a prepared statement.
“I am so proud to launch this campaign to raise the necessary funds to complete this game changing project for the benefit of our vibrant community,” she added. “A performing arts center of this scale and the programming it will provide has largely been out of reach to many in our community. Exposure and involvement in the arts has been proven to be a critical part of proper educational and social development. Now more than ever, such facilities are needed in Hudson County so that everyone has access to spaces that allow us to imagine a better future for all.”i