In 1965, the Board of Chosen Freeholders established a citizens’ committee to determine the need for a community college in Gloucester County. At a November non-binding public referendum, the county electorate approved a community college by an overwhelming vote. The New Jersey State Department of Education granted permission for the Freeholders to proceed with plans for the College in April 1966, and by September, the first Board of Trustees was appointed.
Some 600-charter students were enrolled in September 1968, attending classes at Deptford High School and Monongahela Junior High School. In February 1970, ground was broken for the first buildings on the new campus. GCC held its first graduation for 180 men and women that May.
In autumn 1970, students began attending classes in the Instructional Center, the first building to be completed. The College Center and Physical Education Center opened in January 1971, and the Fine Arts Center was completed by May 1971. In 1986, the College Services building opened.
In October 1988, GCC dedicated the Library and Student Services buildings. In 1993, the College embarked on a new $5.2 million physical expansion project, including the Early Childhood Education Center and the Nursing, Allied Health and Technology Center that has been renamed Health Sciences. Also included in the expansion program was an addition to the Physical Education Center, which houses the Gloucester County Police Academy, Fitness Center, and Physical Education and Law Enforcement programs.
During the 1990s, the student/public parking area was more than doubled in capacity to accommodate 2,200 vehicles. In 1997, GCC dedicated a 13,660 sq. ft. addition to the Library, known as the Learning Resource Center. This $3 million project included the ground-level Barnes & Noble College Store, an interactive TV classroom, a large academic services lab with 60 computers, and two-regular classrooms.
An $8.1 million expansion program began in 2001, including construction of the Virginia N. Scott Center for Science and Technology, a $6.5 million facility housing chemistry and biology laboratories and state-of-the-art computer labs and classrooms. A separate project involved a $1 million conversion of the concrete Grand Plaza into a gently sloping green area, with walkways linking most major campus buildings.
Enhancements to GCC include the fall 2004 refurbishing of campus tennis courts and a building illumination and identification project. A $600,000 renovation project to modernize the College Center kitchen and serving area, the first update to the cafeteria since the building opened in January 1971, provides a pleasant dining experience.
In 2006, GCC celebrated 40 years of student success. During the past four decades, the College has grown to become a valuable asset to the Gloucester County community providing quality academic programs, cultural enrichment, and professional development.