Officials gathered yesterday morning to break ground on the construction of Liberty Science Center High School, the first of several buildings that eventually will comprise the ambitious “innovation hub” called SciTech Scity adjacent to Liberty Science Center.  

Slated to open in 2025, officials hope to establish LSCHS as a world-class public magnet STEM academy providing programs in “Earth (Sustainable Engineering and Climate Science), Life (Biological Sciences), and Space (Astrophysics)” to 400 students in grades 9 – 12 from across Hudson County.  LSCHS will be operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology.

For the ceremony, Mayor Fulop and Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman were joined by state, local and county officials. 

“This is one of the most important projects that we’re doing in Jersey City,” said Fulop. “It will be transformational to not only Jersey City, but the entire region and New Jersey as a whole.” 

Said Hoffman,“It’s unique to have a school next to the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere… We want all companies that are based [in SciTech Scity] to give back to the high school by providing serious work experience and mentorship to students… Aspirationally, we want this to become the greatest STEM high school in the United States.” 

LSCHS students will reportedly have access to intensive mentorships and work experiences with the companies and scientists at SciTech Scity. The complex will include “Edge Works,” an eight-story business incubation hub, and Scholars Village, residential housing for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, STEM graduate students, and individuals and families.

SciTech Scity will be built on 12.5 acres of land donated by Jersey City, which will also contribute $2 million each year for the operation of LSCHS. The school will be open to all Hudson County students.

When the plan was approved by Jersey City’s Municipal Council, some residents complained that no other municipality in Hudson County was making a financial commitment to the school and that the money could be better spent on Jersey City’s own public schools.