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Jersey City unveils new science school plan at innovation campus

Jersey City is moving forward with a new high school in its SciTech Scity, a planned 30-acre innovation campus around the Liberty Science Center.

The new Liberty Science High School will be developed by the city in partnership with Liberty Science Center (LSC) and Hudson County Board of Education in what’s being hailed as a “mini city of the future”, with a technological hub for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, and scientists to work together.

 The state-of-the-art school will include a set of skill-centric classes for students in grades 9-12. The Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) will oversee operations at the new public county magnet high school to provide 400 science-talented high school students from across Hudson County with an opportunity for a curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that will leverage a work education program around the 200+ technology startup companies and entrepreneurs that will call SciTech Scity home.

The City of Jersey City donated 12.5 acres to SciTech Scity and will provide financial assistance for school operating costs.

To date, LSC has raised $27 million in philanthropic donations for the innovation campus, including $5 million specifically for the public high school. LSC plans to break ground on SciTech Scity in 2021 and open the first phase, including the Edge Works incubator, in 2023.

Edge Works will provide nearly 100,000 square feet of research labs, private studios, open workspaces, and a conference center.  Also onsite will be Scholars Village, a residential component for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and their families.

Rendering of the planned school on the site of the proposed innovation campus.

“We are revolutionizing what public education can accomplish, and this partnership with the county is a significant step towards our vision of creating an ecosystem of innovation to educate and inspire future entrepreneurs and scientists,” said Mayor Fulop. “The students will also gain direct access to businesses onsite for unique internship opportunities to further cultivate their career paths. Overall, SciTech Scity will establish Jersey City as a worldwide destination for innovative forward-thinkers, bringing thousands of jobs and countless opportunities to our area.”

“We are excited to work with the county and the city to create a world-class science high school,” said Paul Hoffman, President and CEO of Liberty Science Center. “The students will have access to LSC’s unique assets, like our Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and to internships and mentorships at the cutting-edge startup companies in our Edge Works business incubator.”

Under the new partnership, the Hudson County Improvement Authority will be designated as the Project Developer to construct the school.

The idea of SciTech Scity began in 2015 when Mayor Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency awarded Liberty Science Center with the redevelopment rights to 12.5 acres of land adjacent to LSC and Liberty State Park. Mayor Fulop challenged LSC CEO Paul Hoffman to develop a project that would be transformative for the region and further strengthen New Jersey as a leader in scientific and technological innovation.  SciTech Scity now consists of 30 acres of land.

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