TRENTON, NJ – Thomas Edison State University celebrated the opening of its newest campus building today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Glen Cairn Hall, which has redefined an important gateway to the city at West State and Calhoun streets near Route 29.
The 34,360-square-foot building is home to the University’s W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and includes new, state-of-the-art nursing simulation laboratories, lecture halls, conference rooms and a student advising center. The building also has a two-level, 44,828-square-foot parking garage that provides secure, onsite parking for more than 90 vehicles.
“I want to thank the citizens and tax payers of the state of New Jersey who voted to approve the Building Our Futures Bond Act that provided the resources for this building,” said Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State University. “I am grateful to the governor and the legislature for understanding that a bond issue was long overdue in New Jersey, and I’m glad that in the face of a rather serious state debt situation they had the courage to provide the leadership to go to the tax payers with a bond issue, which was overwhelmingly supported, to help higher education. I have a special debt of gratitude to pay New Jersey Higher Education Secretary Rochelle Hendricks, not only for this facility but also for the ability to offer our first doctoral program and to achieve university status. None of those things would have been possible without the active support of Secretary Hendricks. I am also very grateful for our colleagues in city government and particularly grateful for the members of city council that voted for this project.”
The site, which was previously home to the Glen Cairn Mansion in the late 19th century and the Glen Cairn Arms apartment complex, features views of the Delaware River, the Calhoun Street Bridge and the Trenton skyline.
“This is a marvelous day in the life of our city,” said Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson. “When commitment, bold ideas, resources, collaboration and leadership intersect, the result is what you see right here in Glen Cairn Hall. This facility of higher education is the shape of things to continue to come here in our city.”
Demolition of Glen Cairn Arms was completed by the university in the fall of 2013. Construction on the new building began in the spring of 2014 and the University began moving into the building in June 2016. The project cost was approximately $26.2 million, of which $12.7 million is supported by the Building Our Futures Bond Act approved by New Jersey voters in November 2012.
Glen Cairn Hall was designed to reflect the many former mansions that were located along this portion of West State Street. Traditional and durable materials were used for the exterior, such as slate and composite slate roofing, brick walls and limestone accents. The building's skin features robust insulation, thermal breaks, continuous air barriers and many details adapted from the National Institute of Building Sciences’ “best practice” design guides. The windows utilize high performance insulated glazing, which vastly exceed the code required minimums for glazing performance and provide ample light and views without the energy loss usually associated with larger windows. Glen Cairn Hall is expected to earn LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for being resource efficient.
The West State Street entrance features a welcoming stairway and ramp for accessibility. The rear of the parking garage roof is a green roof that creates an outdoor space for students and University events while also reducing the flow of rainwater and mitigating the urban heat island effect.
The first floor features meeting and conference space, a student advising center and a two-story lounge featuring the reconstructed iconic entrance to the former Glen Cairn Arms. The first floor also includes gallery space to display inventions, artifacts and memorabilia from Thomas Alva Edison donated to the Thomas Edison State University Foundation by John and Eileen Martinson. The second floor houses the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, including the nursing simulation laboratories, lecture halls, classrooms and a testing center. The third floor will feature meeting rooms and additional offices.
Glen Cairn Hall was designed by Clarke Caton Hintz, of Trenton, N.J. Construction manager for the project was: Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc., of Lawrenceville, N.J., and general contractor for the project was Epic, of Piscataway, N.J.