Stockton planning groundbreaking for Phase II in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — A groundbreaking for the second phase of Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus, a 400-bed residential building, is planned for March 27.

A flyer posted on Facebook by the Public Relations Council of Greater Atlantic City announced the groundbreaking at 12:30 p.m. with state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Gov. Phil Murphy in O’Donnell Memorial Park, across the street from the new structure.

“We are excited to be able to expand our presence in Atlantic City and contribute to creating a more diversified economy,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said. “The new residence hall will allow even more students to live, learn and earn in Atlantic City through academic, internship and employment opportunities.”

Developer Atlantic City Development Corp. will construct the 140,000-square-foot building at Atlantic and South Providence avenues through a public-private partnership with the college.

“Stockton University and its partners set the stage for a new economic development strategy with the Gateway initiative,” said AC Devco President Christopher Paladino. “Today, thousands of students, staff, visitors and employees of Stockton, South Jersey Gas and AtlantiCare have changed the tempo of the streets of Chelsea. This Phase II investment will further add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.”

Demolition of the Eldridge building that currently sits on the site is projected for summer with construction beginning in the fall.

The target completion date for students to move in is fall 2022.

Stockton opened the first phase of its Atlantic City campus, known as the Gateway Project, in 2018, and the beachfront dorm rooms and campus quickly filled to capacity. More than 1,500 students take classes there.

The second phase of the Atlantic City campus was announced and approved last spring, with Paladino hoping for a groundbreaking by summer 2019, but contingent on additional funding from the state.

Stockton did get the $4.6 million it sought in the 2020 state budget, but the construction was put on hold when Murphy put those funds, and about $230 million more, into sequester.

Murphy said it was to ensure state revenues would meet expectations.

Some of the funds were released in the fall, but not Stockton’s. In January, Murphy released the remaining money, and Stockton said it would move forward with the $64 million expansion.

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