College Breaks Ground On Building Named For Late Freeholder

EDISON—In a ceremony that honored the past and acclaimed the future, Middlesex County College held a groundbreaking Oct. 9 to highlight the start of construction on its new building, which is being named for the late David B. Crabiel, longtime freeholder director.

“We are thrilled that the freeholder director’s name will be forever linked with Middlesex County College in this way,” said Dorothy K. Power, chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees.


“He took such pride in the College and supported its growth and development. He was such an influential figure in the history of both the College and the County. As a friend and colleague, I am so proud that we are able to honor him and his contributions.”

Artist's rendering of Crabiel Hall

Artist's rendering of Crabiel Hall

Ronald Rios, Freeholder liaison to the college, echoed Power.

“Dave was Middlesex County’s biggest cheerleader and its strongest advocate,” Rios said. “In a public career that spanned five decades, he held fast to his belief that government’s sole purpose was to serve the people. One of the best ways to serve the public, in his mind, was to ensure they had the best opportunities for quality education at all levels.

“The breadth and the depth of the courses, certification classes and community programs offered here underscores just how much Middlesex County College is a part of the fabric of this fine county and the lives of the people who call it home.”

Freeholder Director Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina said the freeholders are proud to support the college. “I thank the county college for all the work they do to offer quality education and programs,” he said.

David B. Crabiel Hall replaces West Hall, which was built in 1941 as part of the Raritan Arsenal – the site of Middlesex County College. It is the last wooden structure from the Arsenal days.

The new building, which is expected to be complete by January of 2011, will be 36,000 square feet and will house 13 classrooms, four state-of-the-art computer labs, a culinary demonstration kitchen and a conference center.

Crabiel Hall will be completed in accordance with the LEEDS Green Building Rating System and is expected to obtain a Silver rating.

“This will be an environmentally friendly building with numerous features designed to save energy and resources,” said Donald R. Drost Jr., executive director of facilities management. A good portion of the materials used in construction of the building will be made with recycled materials, and we have a goal of recycling 80 percent of the construction waste.”

Drost added that the college is conserving water by capturing rainwater for use in irrigation. “We’ll also provide special parking areas with recharging stations for electric vehicles,” he said. “Crabiel Hall will demonstrate that the technology exists to create an attractive building that conserves energy, water and land without any sacrifice in comfort and convenience.”

College President Joann La Perla-Morales said that the new building is a welcome addition to the 200-acre campus and will provide much needed classroom and conference space. Middlesex County College currently serves more than 13,000 students in credit classes and an additional 10,000 in continuing education classes.

“As the college grows in number of students, we need to expand our facilities to provide current technology and state-of-the-art facilities, she said. “At the same time, we are aware of our environmental responsibilities. We are proud to be one of the first community colleges to seek LEED certification for a new building.”

Breaking Ground on David B. Crabiel Hall: From left: County Clerk Elaine Flynn; Freeholder H. James Polos; College Trustee Robert Sica, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan; Ronald Rios, Freeholder liaison to the College; Dorothy K. Power, chairman of the College Board of Trustees; Christopher Rafano, deputy Freeholder director; Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, Freeholder director; Freeholder Carol Barrett; Thomas Tighe, vice chairman of the College Board of Trustees; family members Mary Crabiel, Carolee Grocott and Paulette Wahler;  Trustee John Mulkerin; Freeholder Blanquita Valenti; Trustee Eileen Palumbo; Mark Finkelstein, treasurer of the College Board of Trustees; Freeholder Mildred S. Scott; College President Joann La Perla-Morales; Brian Wahler, mayor of Piscataway and son-in-law of David Crabiel; and Trustee Praful Raja.

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