Richard Stockton College President Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. said Friday that while he personally would like to have a full four-year residential campus in Atlantic City, the chances right now are about 50-50.
The city may have some competition from other municipalities.
Saatkamp made the comments during a meeting of the board of Stockton Affiliated Services Inc., or SASI, a nonprofit subsidiary of Stockton that manages support services such as meal service and transportation. He said several sites in the city were under consideration. Egg Harbor Township attorney Keith Davis has been hired through SASI to represent Stockton’s potential interest, and a decision should be made before the summer.
Stockton already operates a satellite site at the former Carnegie Library building in Atlantic City, and Saatkamp said he has been interested in expanding in the city since at least 2005. But, he said, both the financial and academic opportunities have to work.
“I would like to have a campus in Atlantic City because of what we can bring in terms of jobs, revenue and stability,” he said after the meeting. “But it is a very long-term commitment to make, and the circumstances have to be acceptable. It is still a question mark.”
New Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian mentioned the possibility of a new Stockton campus in the city during his State of the City address in January.
Stockton’s Galloway Township main campus serves about 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students. College officials have said that because of Pinelands restrictions on building, the campus will likely max out at about 10,000 students, a number they expect to reach in three to five years.
The college has opened small satellite sites in Hammonton, Manahawkin and Woodbine. Saatkamp said the enrollment at the Manahawkin site indicates there could be an opportunity to expand in Ocean County.
He said several other municipalities have contacted him about locating in their towns, but he declined to identify them, saying many options were open.
“We have to be smart about this,” he said. “I never want to get boxed into just one option.”
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