Colleges and universities in the state are in line to benefit from $400 million in capital facilities grant funding from four revolving bond programs, the Murphy administration announced Nov. 16.
The Higher Education Capital Facilities bond programs were established by the Legislature to provide funding for the preservation, renewal and construction of facilities and equipment at the state’s schools and to create a regular financing mechanism.
“We want our high-achieving young people and out-of-state students to find the right college match in New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “Whether it is a top-notch science lab or a state-of-the-art technology center, we need to ensure our campuses include these critical resources to compete and win these young hearts and minds to seek their educational futures here. With this investment, we are committed to meeting the infrastructure needs of our higher education institutions while creating good-paying union jobs and achieving our goals of college affordability and competitiveness.”
The four bond funds in the program are:
Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, which provides grants for the cost of renewal, renovation, improvement, expansion, construction and reconstruction of facilities and technology infrastructure.
Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund, which provides grants for the construction, reconstruction, development, extension and improvement of instructional, laboratory, communication, and research facilities.
Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund, which provides grants to finance the purchase of equipment for lease to institutions.
Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund, which provides grants for the acquisition and installation of technology infrastructure within and among New Jersey’s institutions of higher education.
“Governor Murphy’s continued commitment to partnerships that invest in higher education and the opportunity that it affords is essential to creating the equity and innovation that 21st century New Jersey demands and expects,” said Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway. “This is welcome news for all of us in the higher education community.”
The request for proposals for the joint solicitation is expected in the first quarter of 2022 and will be open to both public and private institutions. Awards should be made late next year, subject to legislative approval.
“This is an investment in our future that will help sustain the excellence of New Jersey’s colleges and universities,” said outgoing Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3rd District. “Campus facilities and resources are key components of a quality education that provides our students with the skills and abilities needed to compete in the rapidly evolving workforce.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, D-27th District, the chair of the Assembly Higher Education committee, also praised the move.
“Our economic success goes hand-in-hand with educational opportunity. Helping students stay close to home and strengthening our competitiveness to attract others to come study in New Jersey, this $400 million will work to keep talent here over the long haul,” Coughlin said.
Jasey said the funds would help New Jersey schools remain competitive. “Thanks to this investment, we can deliver on our commitment to provide quality higher education in New Jersey by giving countless students access to new facilities and the equipment they need to succeed.”