Left to right: John Lanza, a member of the Hunterdon County Board of Freeholders; Jack Cust Jr., managing partner for Flemington Center Urban Renewal; Georgian Court University President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.; Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner; Chris Phelan, president and CEO of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
GCU Is Official Higher Education Partner for Downtown Flemington Development Project
Georgian Court University, in partnership with Flemington Center Urban Renewal, LLC, will become the newest higher education institution to serve Hunterdon-area families, employers, and working professionals.
GCU officials joined Flemington developers and the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce leaders in announcing the partnership Tuesday, Dec. 5. Georgian Court will be the sole provider of college-level educational programs at the forthcoming Courthouse Square, a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use property. The project is expected to break ground next year and GCU would likely begin classes in the fall of 2019, if not before.
“This expansion beyond our historic Lakewood campus reflects on our ongoing strategy of meeting students where they are,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., noting GCU’s broadening reach in Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties. “As part of our Mercy heritage, our mission is to serve the underserved—including those who are geographically underserved by higher education. Georgian Court is happy to help meet the education needs of this county and this community.”
“Increasingly, students want high-quality, affordable college experiences that are close to home and work and convenient for their busy lives,” said Dr. Marbach. “Part of the opportunity that Flemington offers GCU is that this allows us to provide transfer students and adult learners a convenient location to complete their education—through traditional classes and through hybrid classes, which are conducted online and meet every few weeks in person. By offering GCU degree-completion programs in downtown Flemington, we can address their needs.”
Partners in Service and Success
Project redevelopers and others see the agreement as a win-win for the business community, area residents, and GCU, Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner spoke briefly at the event and underscored the merits of the overall project. So did John Lanza, a member of the Hunterdon County Board of Freeholders.
“We are especially pleased to move forward together, as GCU will be an integral part of Courthouse Square,” added Jack Cust Jr., managing partner for Flemington Center Urban Renewal. “I want to thank Dr. Marbach and his board of trustees for their commitment to our community.”
He added that the collective support of many other stakeholders—including the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce, civic leaders, business owners, and area employers—continues to be tremendously important to the project.
“The expansion opportunity of Georgian Court University into Hunterdon County addresses several important goals, including New Jersey’s need to build more alliances between business and higher education,” he said. “Plus, GCU’s presence in Flemington will serve students and employers through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in their own backyard.”
GCU Programs to Reflect Market Demands
Since 2016, GCU has grown the number of programs it offers through new, fully online degrees, expanded graduate programs in seven counties, and at two other locations—GCU@Hazlet and GCU@Cumberland. In this latest move, the university is exploring a collaboration with Hunterdon Medical Center to expand existing GCU programs in health care. The university has a thriving B.S.N. program for nurses in Lakewood and will launch an RN to B.S.N. program in Fall 2018 at GCU@Hazlet.
The growth in nursing and other health care majors mirrors national labor trends: new 10-year employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that registered nurse jobs will grow by 437,000 positions through 2026. Overall, the health care sector is expected to add more jobs than any other industry.
About Flemington Center Urban Renewal, LLC
Courthouse Square is a comprehensive redevelopment project on the historic Union Hotel site, famous for the Lindbergh Trial. The mixed-use redevelopment is led by local developer Jack Cust Jr. and is comprised of approximately 300,000 square feet. Courthouse Square will be anchored by Georgian Court University on one end of the property and will feature approximately 230 luxury residential units, a 100-room hotel, great restaurants and retail, as well as a medical component with Hunterdon Healthcare.
View more photos from the event.