EDISON – Can Middlesex College become a multi-faceted destination for the entire county?
That is what officials plan as they have finalized its Community, Innovation, and Opportunity (CIO) Strategic Investment plan as part of the county’s Destination 2040 Strategic Plan.
The plan to transform and bolster Middlesex College and the Magnet School System, as well as meet the diverse needs of the entire community was announced during a press conference at Middlesex College on Nov. 1.
Highlights of the CIO Strategic Investment plan include:
- An open-air Multipurpose Community Venue for concerts, cultural events, and multiple sports such as baseball, soccer, or lacrosse.
- A Workforce Development and Conference Center.
- A new Community Park featuring an educational children’s amenity.
- A new Student Center which will include campus and community amenities.
- A new Middlesex County Magnet School, the Middlesex County Magnet School of the Future.
- A Destination Athletic Complex featuring 14 multi-sport synthetic fields; 16 tennis courts and a state-of-the-art recreational cricket field.
- An expansion of the existing exterior spaces, activating these areas by adding public art, seating, and water features.
County leadership along with key state and local government and school district officials – Gov. Phil Murphy; New Jersey General Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-19); Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios; Edison Mayor Sam Joshi; Middlesex College President Mark McCormick; Superintendent of Schools Jorge E. Diaz; Middlesex County Administrator John A. Pulomena; and Middlesex College Alumni Trustee Anvay Patel – spoke about the long-term economic impact this new plan will have and how it will transform the region.
“From cultural to world-class recreational opportunities, from athletic to scholastic, this plan will improve the lives of so many in our community,” Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios said.
“This project is an unprecedented opportunity not only to cement Middlesex College’s place as one of the best two-year colleges in America by not only expanding the educational offerings of both the College and the Magnet School System, but to turn the campus into a multi-faceted destination for the community here in Middlesex County and this entire region. The CIO Strategic Investment plan will drastically transform the outdoor activities available to families and individuals across both Middlesex County and the State of New Jersey.”
Murphy said Middlesex County has “long epitomized the best our state has to offer [with] economic opportunity, family-oriented communities, and schools that prepare our children to reach their full potential not just as students, but as community members and future leaders.”
“The CIO Strategic Investment plan announced today will further promote educational opportunities, community engagement, and the arts among Middlesex College students and residents of all ages,” he said. “Together, these improvements will further solidify Middlesex College as a crucial anchor in a community that will continue to grow and flourish for generations to come.”
Coughlin said the plan will improve and enhance people’s quality of life by the expansion of educational opportunities that inspire innovation and entrepreneurship and providing greater access to the arts and to athletics.
Joshi said the proposed cricket pitch is an “extraordinary development for Edison residents, who have been hoping for an official place to play cricket for decades” as they move Edison forward with county and state partnerships.
“Middlesex College is truly the heart of Middlesex County,” Middlesex College President Mark McCormick said. “With this extraordinary and transformative investment by the state and Middlesex County on and near our campus, Middlesex College can do even more to lean into and live up to its mission of providing access to a quality, affordable education for a diverse population, supporting student success for lifelong learning, and strengthening the economic, social, and cultural life of the community.”
The proposed Middlesex County Magnet School of the Future plans to offer programs in environmental technology and engineering, information communication and global logistics.
“The School of the Future will leverage its location at the Middlesex College campus to provide an education that is advanced both academically and practically, giving students access to college-level courses as well as the latest tools and technologies,” Superintendent of the Middlesex County Magnet Schools Jorge E. Diaz said.
“In the future, our students will be able to graduate with a high school diploma and a two-year college degree. This will be game-changing for our student community. We have much work ahead of us, but I am confident that with the support of our valued partners and the community, this project will be an unparalleled success,” he said.
The Middlesex County Magnet Schools, formerly Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, are comprised of five separate campuses in Piscataway, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick, Edison, and Woodbridge. The schools combine to serve 2,200 highschoolers. In addition, the schools also feature an Adult Education program that benefits nearly 400 adults annually.
Consistent with the principles of Destination 2040, the CIO Strategic Investment Plan will not just guide the growth of Middlesex College over the next decade, but it will enhance life quality and drive economic development for all of Middlesex County, according to county officials.
Middlesex College, formerly Middlesex County College, is located at 2600 Woodbridge Ave., Edison.