Rutgers Board of Governors Adopts Priority Projects Under Higher Education Facilities Bond Act and Other Sources

Rutgers Board of Governors Adopts Priority Projects Under Higher Education Facilities Bond Act and Other Sources

New construction and renovations would occur on all Rutgers campuses

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers University Board of Governors today adopted a list of priority facilities projects, contingent upon funding through New Jersey’s Higher Education Capital Facilities Program, which include funds from the Building Our Future Bond Act approved by voters in November.

The projects, which total more than $410 million in new construction and renovation of academic facilities as well as infrastructure improvements, would create several thousand construction jobs on Rutgers campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark and Camden. The proposed projects include the completion of previously approved renovations of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey buildings, which will become part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) as of July 1.

“We look forward to working with leaders in Trenton to expedite approval of these projects,” said Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi. “All of them are in alignment with the academic priorities of Rutgers and with the state's priorities to expand and strengthen New Jersey’s capacity in the fields of health care, life sciences and technology.”

The projects adopted by the board contingent on funding are as follows:

  • Wright-Reiman Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building (Piscataway)

The current facilities housing the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department (constructed between 1947 and 1982) are outdated, crowded and largely incompatible with the contemporary demands of research and education. The proposal is for a multi-phased approach, beginning with the construction of a new $115 million, 164,000-square-foot building comprised mostly of flexible, state-of-the-art research labs and areas for teaching and instructional support that will allow the Rutgers Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department to maintain a competitive advantage in attracting top-notch students and faculty and developing important relationships with chemistry-related industries in New Jersey and worldwide.

  • Life Sciences Center II (Newark)

Most of the existing science facilities on the Rutgers-Newark Campus are 30 to 40 years old and unable to support contemporary science teaching and research. At present, various departments and functions of the life sciences are spread among a number of buildings on the campus. Rutgers proposes construction of a second Life Sciences Center (the first was completed in 2005). The 93,000-square-foot, $59 million project would physically link existing facilities. It will feature state-of-the-art teaching laboratories and research facilities that will accommodate new research initiatives, allow for expansion of current life science programs, bring about new programs and enhance the perception of the life sciences at Rutgers-Newark.

  • School of Nursing/Science Building (Camden)

The recently established Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden is poised to grow to an enrollment exceeding 700 undergraduate and graduate students. The school is currently located in Armitage Hall with deficient and outdated instructional facilities that are inadequate for the student enrollment and faculty size. The departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the School of Arts and Sciences in Camden serve more than 5,000 students per year and provide required science courses to all undergraduates as well as pre-requisite courses for the School of Nursing and School of Business. The science building is undersized for the current and anticipated enrollment and the teaching and lab facilities need to be modernized. The proposed new 120,000-square-foot, $62.5 million Nursing and Science building would position Rutgers-Camden for the next generation of growth in these two critical areas of study and research. The building will have modern teaching spaces consistent with current trends in teaching and training. Specialized instructional spaces will include a range of clinical skill labs to simulate various health care environments. In addition, the teaching labs for the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Departments will be designed to support the latest trends in science education.

  • Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Addition (Piscataway)

The proposed four-story, 57,000-square-foot addition to the School of Pharmacy is designed to integrate fully into the existing building and add critically needed instructional, laboratory and support spaces. The $37.5 improvement will provide modern academic spaces for the advancement of the School of Pharmacy’s reputation as a national leader in pharmacy education. The addition would include new classrooms, a mock hospital lab, a mock cleanroom and approximately 8,000 square feet of state-of-the-art wet laboratory space. The new research space would support both undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • Busch Campus Infrastructure Improvements (Piscataway)

The infrastructure and utilities systems on the Busch Campus – the science and technology hub of Rutgers University – are nearly 50 years old. Of the approximately six million gross square feet (GSF) of university buildings on Busch, more than two million GSF are devoted to science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching and research. The proposed $26 million capital project would upgrade obsolete and inadequate water systems, electrical systems and the heating and cooling distribution network. The plan also calls for a realignment and connection of the bus loop road on the interior of campus. As the integration with UMDNJ proceeds, these upgrades will provide better utility services to the Busch Campus as well as improve transportation services for the new students of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

  • New Jersey Dental School Expansion (Newark)

The New Jersey Dental School (NJDS) will transfer from UMDNJ to Rutgers effective July 1. The NJDS building suffers from deteriorating infrastructure throughout the facility – most of which was built in the early 1970s. A 2002 expansion plan for an 80,000-square-foot Oral Health Pavilion (OHP) was not completed due to insufficient funding and left 20,000 square feet of clinical space unfinished. Rutgers proposes a $13.5 million fit-out of the shell space to accommodate the planned growth of the NJDS Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and post-graduate specialty programs. The space will include 80 dental operatories, X-ray rooms, a clinical laboratory and support space for patient reception, clinical faculty and administration. Completion of OHP will enable the Dental School to maintain and grow current programs and enrollment. Upon renovation, DMD and post-graduate programs have the potential to grow by 10 percent.

  • New Jersey Dental School Oral Health Research Lab Renovation (Newark)

The advancement of knowledge and the growth of training and research programs require new and more efficient facilities. Rutgers proposes to undertake a $16 million renovation of approximately 25,000 square feet of research space in the Bergen Street Pavilion and NJDS laboratories in the Medical Science Building. Functions currently housed in two adjacent suites will be joined into one open laboratory space surrounded by the necessary support activities to create an environment more conducive to interaction of researchers and mutual support. The project will expand research capacity to accommodate DMD, masters, PhD and other post-graduate programs in order to prepare more individuals to enter the fields of immunology, microbiology, oral biology, genomics and neuroscience.

  • School of Health Related Professions (Newark)

The School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) will transfer from UMDNJ to Rutgers effective July 1. A study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2008 and 2018, there will be a 12 percent growth in the number of positions for medical laboratory scientists and many more positions will be available in the field due to retirements or attrition. More than 90 percent of the graduates of SHRP find employment in the field within three months of graduation and 100 percent find employment within six months. Rutgers proposes a $3.8 million renovation of 4,400 square feet of laboratory and office space in the Stanley S. Bergen Building, the current home of SHRP. Much of the space is not useable due to HVAC issues and dated infrastructure. The renovation plan provides for a large state-of-the-art laboratory facility, as well as new lab space to accommodate a broader range of testing, including tissue culture, microscopy and microbiology. The renovation will also create space for a wellness clinic. In addition to providing an important service to medically underserved populations in the local community, the space can be used to train health care students in wellness promotion and screening, nutritional sciences and medical and psychiatric counseling.

  • Research Equipment and Technology Infrastructure Upgrades (All Campuses)

Rutgers currently serves nearly 60,000 students on its campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden. The university now employs more than 13,000 faculty and staff. A large number of scientific, engineering, instructional, communications and computer equipment are in various stages of their useful life. In addition, new programs and advancing technologies may require new or upgraded equipment. The proposed acquisitions include equipment that would strengthen Rutgers research in the study of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, DNA, genomics, chemistry, computer engineering and materials sciences. These tools – which will be of critical importance with the integration of Rutgers and UMDNJ – will be available for use by all Rutgers researchers. In addition, other schools and New Jersey industries will be able to take advantage of these research tools.

The Rutgers Office of Information Technology has identified three infrastructure projects to address the university’s ability to meet the growing technology demands of students, faculty and staff. The proposal would see an enhancement of wireless services across all Rutgers facilities; an upgrade of the Camden Campus Data Center; and upgrading of the Rutgers University data network to replace older equipment no longer supported by manufacturers.

The proposed new scientific research equipment and technology infrastructure upgrades total approximately $80 million. Rutgers plans to offset much of the cost by securing state grants specifically designed to provide assistance to institutions of higher education in need of new research/instructional equipment and upgrades of technology infrastructure.

Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving nearly 60,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Media Contact: Greg Trevor
732-932-7084, ext. 623