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May 03, 2013 06:43 AM EDT

Mercer County's 6 Educational Institutions to Receive $95.4 million For Construction Projects


Mercer County's six higher educational institutions will reportedly receive a total of $95.4 million from voter-approved state bond funds to help the colleges and universities initiate campus construction projects.

Out of the $95.4 million, the College of New Jersey will be given the largest share of the amount, $57.5 million. The college had submitted six applications seeking financial aid from the state, wherein one of them was for a planned $64 million engineering building.

The remaining amount will go to Thomas Edison State College ($16.6 million); Mercer County Community College ($9.7 million); Princeton University ($6.5 million); Rider University ($4.6 million) and Princeton Theological Seminary ($645,323).

 "Today, we begin a new era of opportunity for New Jersey's colleges and universities," Gov. Chris Christie said. "To keep more of our best students in the state and to make our colleges more attractive research partners for industries looking to bring good paying jobs and businesses here, we need modern facilities to remain competitive."

This fund partially comes from a $750 million 'Building Our Future Bond Act' that was approved by voters, last November. The Act allows the state to borrow millions for construction and renovations of academic buildings in colleges and universities.

The $750 million 'Building Our Future Bond Act' comes from a $1.3 billion fund that the state is providing for 176 higher education construction projects that belong to 46 state-wide institutions.

Apart from 'Building Our Future Bond Act,' the funds required for assisting 176 projects will be provided by four other higher education funding programs: the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, the Higher Education facilities Trust Fund, the Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund and the Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund.

From the $1.3 billion account, Princeton will obtain $6 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund.  However, the largest portion will go to the state's public research universities, with Rutgers University receiving $357 million.

Approximately, 250 funding related applications were submitted to the governor's office and preference was given to those that concentrated on academic programs especially science, technology, engineering and math.

The institutions were asked to elaborate on how projects would affect the students and help in creating more jobs for the state.

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