Ribbon cutting ceremony
On a rare warm day amidst the onset of fall weather, students, faculty, staff and friends of NJIT gathered to witness the official opening of the Warren Street Village, consisting of residential Greek houses and the Honors Residential Hall.
Many speakers shared positive sentiments on what they felt would be achieved through the development of these buildings. New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks noted the development of the Village as a sign that NJIT is “on the path to changing the odds.” “Georgia Tech, MIT, you better watch out. NJIT is on the path of progress.” Steve DePalma, Board of Trustees Chairman, called the Village a place “where lifelong bonds of friendship will be forged” and “where campus traditions will be fostered.” Katia Passerini, Interim Dean of the Dorman Honors College, noted the opening of these buildings as symbolic of NJIT’s tagline, “moving the edge.” Though the Village is, at the moment, situated on the far edge of campus, perhaps one day, said Passerini, the green space at the center of the Village will become a new hub for student activity.
Other speakers emphasized unity. President Bloom called the Village a great place for students to learn, live, work and socialize amongst each other. “Great universities” have to compete for the best students, he said, which requires an attractive environment. In addition, universities help the communities they belong to. “We want to be part of our host city,” said Bloom, citing the fact that a large portion of NJIT students who perform community service are in fact members of Greek life or the Honors college.
Helena Halasz spoke on behalf of the student body, representing both sides of the Village as both a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and a member of the Dorman Honors College. “Many students never imagined this would happen in our time,” said Halasz. Though at first glance having an Honors residence hall opposite Greek housing seems “odd”, these two groups represent some of NJIT’s best and brightest, “united at last.”
Part of a Whole
Development of the Warren Street Village was only the first phase of an overarching plan, called the Gateway Project, for redeveloping the area. The second phase is slated to begin around this time next year. This will involve renovating the old site of NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center at 240 MLK Boulevard. Developments include studio and performance space for artists and community events, housing units, retail and a parking deck shared by NJIT and St. Michael’s Medical Center.