Atlantic Cape Community College’s trustees on Tuesday awarded Arthur J. Ogren Construction in Vineland a contract to build the new hospitality center at its Worthington Campus in Atlantic City.
The board of trustees, who met at the Atlantic City campus, also renewed efforts for a solar project on the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses.
The college received nine bids ranging from almost $6.2 million to almost $8 million for the Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies. Trustee Helen Walsh told the board that Ogren’s $6,186,500 bid will allow the college to complete the base project, plus six of eight extra items in the bid package, including a greenhouse, special lighting poles and automatic shade control.
The two-story 20,788-square-foot building will have two teaching kitchens, classrooms, a mock casino, slot lab and offices. Funding for the $10 million project is split between the county and a grant from Caesars Entertainment Corp. through the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The board also approved contracts for casino gaming equipment and furniture with Gaming Partners International USA, Inc. of Atlantic City for $21,157 and Majestic Industries Casino Seating Inc. in Passaic for $19,814.
Construction is expected to start in mid-November with a estimated completion date of mid-2014. Classes at the site would start in the fall of 2014.
A long-dormant solar project is also getting new energy with a new partner, Energenic LLC, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries.
In 2010 the college approved an agreement with Pepco and Solar Power Partners LLC, a subsidiary of Pepco, for solar carports on the Mays Landing and Cape May Court House campuses. The company would have owned, installed and operated the 2.3 megawatt system, with the college paying for the power generated. But market conditions prevented Solar Power Partners from getting financing for the project and the company has terminated the agreement.
Energenic was the next qualified bidder from among the original six, and company officials are still interested in taking on the project, college officials said. The board gave Energenic until the Feb. 26, 2013 meeting to develop a final agreement with the college. If approved, construction could start in the spring and be completed during the summer.
A groundbreaking for the new Science Technology and Math building on the Mays Landing campus is also scheduled for Nov. 1.
A new Commercial Pilot Professional Series program was also approved to begin in the spring. The series will include seven courses totalling 15 credits and will prepare students for a Federal Aviation Administration license as a commercial pilot with instrument rating. Department chair Otto Hernandez said 19 students are now in ground school aviation courses offered in partnership with Big Sky Aviation, and the college has moved its flight simulator to the Atlantic City International Airport for use in student training.
The board also approved memorandums of agreement with the college’s four bargaining units that will increase the maximum payment for unused sick leave from the current $8,500 to the state cap of $15,000 for eligible employees who put in for retirement by Dec. 14 and retire by June 30, 2013.
The agreement will give the college more accurate salary and benefit projections for the FY2014 budget. College spokeswoman Kathleen Corbalis said 119 employees are eligible for the payment, and 39 people are eligible for retirement from both the college and the state pension system.
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