Salem Community College celebrated its internationally renowned glass programs’ growth and popularity with a recent groundbreaking ceremony.
The 20,000-square-foot Sam and Jean Jones Glass Education Center is slated to open in September on the northern edge of SCC’s campus in Carneys Point Twp.
Longtime benefactors Sam and Jean Jones are donating about 25 percent of the facility’s $3.3 million cost. The State of New Jersey and Salem Community College will fund the remainder, according to SCC President Michael Gorman.
The facility’s studio/lab – named in honor of distinguished alumnus and internationally respected glass artist Paul J. Stankard – will be 50 percent larger than the current space that opened in Alloway in 2009. The expanded facilities are critical, Gorman pointed out, because enrollment in the Scientific Glass Technology program has grown by 220 percent and the Glass Art program has increased by 115 percent over 10 years.
“We carefully reviewed our options – expand the current center or build a facility on campus,” said Gorman. “From our discussions with various stakeholders, we determined that relocating the Glass Education Center to campus will create a certain synergy that is only possible when all SCC students are together on the Carneys Point campus. We believe the relocation will be a win-win for all our students, employees and community members.”
Construction partners are TriMark Building Contractors from Vineland, Fralinger Engineering in Bridgeton and BlueScope Construction in Kansas City, Mo.
Stankard, the internationally respected glass artist from Mantua, N.J., has now advised three SCC presidents during the glass programs’ 20-year period of growth. “It’s an honor to have been involved at Salem under Dr. Peter Contini, Joan Baillie and now Dr. Gorman,” said Stankard to a standing-room only crowd of 100 at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Giving back to my alma mater has been wonderfully satisfying.”
This academic year, the glass programs have enrolled students from 23 states, including California and Washington.
Celebrating its 60th year, Scientific Glass Technology is the only Associate in Applied Science program of its kind in the nation. Students are introduced to the necessary skills and techniques to construct scientific glass apparatus for university laboratories, and industrial research and production. SCC’s program produces well-qualified candidates for employment throughout the world with this highly specialized skill.
Inspired by Stankard, the Glass Art program (Associate in Fine Arts) will soon mark its 20th anniversary. A limited number of other institutions offer glass art. However, the SCC Glass Art program is unique with its intense focus on flameworking, a process other schools do not address. Graduates transfer to bachelor of fine arts programs, start their own creative glass businesses and work at a variety of art institutions.
Caption: Salem Community College dignitaries and elected officials recently broke ground on the Sam and Jean Jones Glass Education Center on the SCC campus in Carneys Point. The facility’s studio/lab – named in honor of distinguished alumnus and internationally respected glass artist Paul J. Stankard – will be 50 percent larger than the current space that opened in Alloway in 2009. The expanded facilities are critical, President Michael Gorman pointed out, because enrollment in the Scientific Glass Technology program has grown by 220 percent and the Glass Art program has increased by 115 percent over 10 years.