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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Bergen Community College has announced plans to open a 70,000-sf satellite campus adjacent to Meadowlands Xanadu, the $2-billion retail/entertainment complex currently under construction here. Its initial mission will be to create training programs for some of the 20,000 new jobs Xanadu is expected to create. The site is also expected to lessen the crowding at the school’s 30,000-student main campus in Paramus and a satellite campus in Hackensack.

While the campus has been in the works for a while, the plans discussed at a press conference here last week remain preliminary, school officials conceded. Financial details were not released, although funding for the campus is expected to come from a combination of public and private sources, including the project’s developer.

“This campus will provide both the work force training and access to education that are important and basic to the economic growth of the state, the region and the county,” Gov. Jon Corzine said at the press conference. “This project is government at its best.”

Expected to be up and running by early 2009, the campus will rise on a nine-acre site donated by the state, adjacent to a new rail station. Both the site and Xanadu itself are within the state-owned Meadowlands Sports Complex, operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Developer Mills corp. had earlier committed to paying part of the cost, and state officials said at the press conference that they expect Colony Capital, which is taking over Mills’ share of the project, to honor the commitment.

The site’s curriculum is expected to initially focus on training in the retail, office, hospitality and sports management sectors. Eventually, according to BCC officials, the course offerings will transition into a full community college program.

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