Breaking news, blogs, and more at TCNJSignal.net. Vol. XLI, No. 1
August 27, 2014
Serving The College of New Jersey community since 1885
Inside the fences of Campus Town Where the College is ranked
By Tom Kozlowski Managing Editor
Photo courtesy of The PRC Group
Campus Town takes up about 12 acres of land and will be home to 446 students starting in the fall of 2015. By Natalie Kouba & Tom Kozlowski Editor-in-Chief & Managing Editor It has been four months since most students last saw developments in the construction of Campus Town. Rows of green fences still line Metzger Drive. Sounds of heavy industry clamor in the daytime air. To some, construction appears to be more of the same. And yet, the yellow-wrapped tops of new apartment buildings can be seen rising just over the fence, barren but progressing fast. There may not be much to see from outside the barriers, but within the construction site, Campus Town is beginning to bloom. The steel structures of soonto-be student apartments, retail space and restaurants are standing, but it is apparent that Campus Town still has a long way to go before it is ready to open. PRC Group, the developer for the project, has undertaken the now $86 million endeavor alongside Turner Construction, an international construction company hired to assist in the production. Together, they have implemented a comprehensive strategy for ensuring Campus Town’s continued developments and its eventual
opening on schedule. “Turner is here (because) they are probably the best in the industry for doing this,” said Greg Lentine, director of University Campus Development at PRC Group. “When we found out they were flying drones above (Campus Town), we thought that was pretty cool. But it’s not just for the pictures. They are tracking progress, making sure things are getting done the right way.” On any given day, there are 90-120 workers on site. Through construction alone, the Campus Town project has created 6,000 to 10,000 jobs through employment pool expansion, according to Lentine. Expanding beyond the fence, part of the Campus Town project includes widening Pennington Road outside and thereby moving sewer systems, telephone poles, fire hydrants and curbs to allow for heavier traffic and a traffic light at the main entrance of Campus Town. All steel frames, fire retardant dorms, cinder block stairwells and concrete floors are all steps being taken to ensure fire safety throughout. “My goal is to educate the students — I don’t want everybody asking, ‘What’s behind the green fence? Lets go see it’,” Lentine said. “I am happy to show it to people. What I don’t
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Editorial / Page 7
want is for them to come in here on their own.” The next big change students can begin looking forward to is bricking. According to Lentine, they are running ahead of schedule and are confident they can achieve their goals on their currently scheduled dates. Recently, PRC Group has been touring the site with retailers in the hopes of signing leases for promising businesses to flourish. Of the 83,000 sq. ft. of retail space, approximately 50 percent of it has been leased out, according to Lentine. So far, Piccolo’s Trattoria Italian restaurant, Red Berry frozen yogurt,
Yummy sushi, Mexican Mariachi Grill and a Starbucks Coffee within the Barnes & Noble bookstore have all been signed. “The retail can’t survive with just the college students ... we need the public so that their business comes here, and it is not only good for here, but benefits the community as a whole,” Lentine said. “We are looking to have a company that will be successful.” The 11,400 sq. ft. fitness center will be run and operated by the College and only open to the College community. See CAMPUS TOWN page 3
Tom Kozlowski / Managing Editor
Piccolo’s will be opening a new location in Campus Town. Opinions / Page 9
Arts & Entertainment / Page 11
It’s no secret the College has undergone many a physical evolution, from building renovations to the long-prophesied construction of Campus Town. But these changes make up an outside view of the school’s transformation. To understand the subtle yet significant advancements inside the College’s academic and economic core, look no further than its positioning on this summer’s various lists of college rankings. College rankings come out frequently and with varying credibility attached to their publications. In the case of this summer, the College placed highly on a number of “best” lists from major outlets — Money Magazine, Newsweek and Forbes, to name a few — while also earning a seat among the country’s most expensive public colleges. No one list can tell the whole story, though. Seeing where the College truly ranks means comparing the rankings and See NUMBERS page 2
T-Dubs fried out
By Peter Fiorilla & Mylin Batipps News Editor & News Assistant Due to mechanical issues recently discovered on the scene of T-Dubs during construction, the opening of the Towers-based dining facility has been delayed until further notice. Although workers had hoped the renovation would be complete by the start of the academic year ahead of schedule, workers ran afoul of technical problems that added to the cost for repairs and time needed for construction. “(The repairs) included broken mechanical systems and plumbing and electric lines cast into the concrete floor of T-Dubs that had to be removed because they were failing or because they were in the way of the renovations,” said Dave Muha, vice president for communications, marketing and brand management at the College. See T-DUBS page 4
Features / Page 14
Sports / Page 24
The best of summer Catch up on some of the best in entertainment.
Bird’s-eye view Student drone captures campus pictures.
Ice bucket challenge How and why Pete Frates got it started.
See A&E page 11
See Features page 14
See Sports page 20