JERSEY CITY – Liberty Science Center today announced a $230 million plan to build a science and technology campus, one museum officials say will launch businesses, create jobs and offer science education for local youth.
The project, dubbed SciTech Scity, is set for 16 acres of city-owned property adjacent to Liberty Science Center. Plans for the center include a technology business incubator, biotech and coding labs and a 135-room science-themed hotel and residences for 275 scientists, entrepreneurs, and college students.
There are also plans for a grade school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
"This city is growing so fast, it needs a science-oriented school," said Paul Hoffman, CEO of Liberty Science Center.
The city-owned land is valued at more than $20 million, according to Mayor Steve Fulop. The mayor contrasted his administration decision to grant the land to Liberty Science Center with "administration after administration" in the past selling city properties to plug budget holes.
"This is an investment in culture," he told The Jersey Journal. "It's a really big deal."
Fulop said the city is committed to helping Liberty Science Center raise $80 million for the project. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency this week voted unanimously to give the land to the museum, a 300,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1993.
Ainissa Ramirez, a materials scientist who hails from Jersey City, said the proposed public school focused on science education is important.
"Going to museums and seeing fun science on TV exposed me to my life's work as a scientist," she said. "If it worked for me, I'm sure it will work for many others."
City officials say the project will create about 2,500 jobs during its development and 594 permanent jobs once it's complete. A "significant portion" of those jobs are expected to go to city residents, they said.
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