Atlantic City Press

December 9, 2003

Stockton to build institute in Mays Landing
By Diane D'Amico

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - Teacher training and other professional-development programs offered through The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will expand off campus next year.

The college signed a lease Monday with Joseph R. Dickinson III for a building on Route 50 in Mays Landing that formerly housed the Holy Redeemer Visiting Nurse Association. The lease is pending approval by the college board of trustees, which meets Wednesday.

The college will pay $5,400 per month, throughout five years, for the approximately 6,000-square-foot building.

The site will be used by the Southern Regional Institute, or SRI, and the Educational Technology Training Center, or ETTC, which provide professional-development and training workshops to school districts, government agencies and nonprofit groups throughout southern New Jersey. The programs are funded through fees paid by the consortium of member school districts and agencies.

Stockton Vice President and SRI Executive Director Harvey Kesselman said the SRI has wanted to establish a presence in the western part of the county since its services have expanded into Cumberland, Salem and Burlington counties. The site will provide space for staff and small workshops, and also free up space now used by the SRI at Stockton.

"The college has a space issue also," due to increased enrollment, Kesselman said.

Some minor work is needed on the Route 50 site, but it is expected to open some time in January, Kesselman said.

The SRI offers more than 600 training workshops a year, most of them on site in school districts or at agencies. On Monday, Kesselman led a workshop at Stockton for educators from three counties on how to analyze the results of the state's standardized testing.

The SRI also is expected to have a technology lab at the Carnegie Library in Atlantic City, which the college is leasing from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Stockton officials also had expressed interest in using space at the old county courthouse in Mays Landing, but that building requires substantial renovations, and there is no definite timeline for when it would become available.

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said the county plans to enlarge offices for the county clerk and surrogate at the old courthouse, and move the freeholder offices there, using the main courtroom for meetings. He said space would become available when the criminal courts and sheriff's department are moved to the new $40 million justice facility next year.

(Staff writer Thomas Barlas contributed to this story.)