New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined Rutgers President Robert Barchi, Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett, New Jersey State Sen. Donald Norcross, and Camden Mayor Dana Redd at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of the new Nursing and Science Building at Rutgers University–Camden.
The Nursing and Science Building will be a state-of-the-art, $62.5 million teaching and research facility that will allow Rutgers to expand its ability to prepare a new generation of science and nursing leaders for New Jersey and the region. Supported by funds from the higher education bond referendum passed by New Jersey voters in November 2012, the 100,000-square-foot facility will be built at Fifth and Federal Streets in downtown Camden.
“Last year, I signed bipartisan legislation to transform higher education in New Jersey and create a stronger Rutgers that will compete for the best students in New Jersey and around the country,” said Christie. “Today’s Nursing and Science Building groundbreaking here at Rutgers–Camden is the latest expansion of opportunity for Rutgers to attract top tier students and faculty at innovative, state-of-the art facilities and laboratories. I congratulate both Rutgers and the city of Camden on this facility that will foster the next generation of nursing professionals in the Garden State.”
“This building is important both for what it is and for what it signifies,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi.
“When completed in 2016 this building will provide the cutting-edge technology, research lab space, and classrooms that will place our graduates among the best trained in the nation,” Barchi said.
“What this building signifies is the expanding commitment of the university and our partners to the Rutgers–Camden campus, the City of Camden and, indeed, the entire South Jersey region,” Barchi added.
The new building will expand Rutgers’ footprint in Camden by creating a corridor that will connect Camden’s University District (which includes the Rutgers–Camden campus) with the neighborhood populated by Cooper University Hospital, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
“Rutgers–Camden is committed to promoting educational advancement and economic development throughout the region,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett. “The construction of this Nursing and Science Building means that Rutgers students and faculty will have a world-class facility that will match their own ambitions and excellence. The location of this building represents Rutgers’ commitment to helping Camden build its reputation as a center for the health sciences and the biosciences. We look forward to the many opportunities for collaboration that this new building will nurture.”
The Rutgers–Camden Nursing and Science Building will be financed, in part, by proceeds from the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” a $750 million loan and grant program overwhelmingly approved by voters in a ballot referendum last November. The referendum was sponsored by New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney and supported by New Jersey State Sen. Donald Norcross.
“Today’s groundbreaking is what the Higher Education Restructuring Act and the Higher Ed Bond Act of 2012 were designed for, and we’re already seeing their effects throughout South Jersey,” said Norcross. “We are giving our institutions the resources they need to expand and meet the demands of the future. This new nursing school will create more opportunities for our students to get the quality education they deserve close to home. Rutgers–Camden continues to strengthen its partnership with the city and act as an economic engine for our region.”
“I am thrilled that Rutgers–Camden, my alma mater, continues grow and expand its presence right here in Camden,” Redd said. “Today’s groundbreaking further symbolizes our new identity as the regional center for the eds and meds. I thank all our partners who worked hard to make this day a reality and I look forward to celebrating the opening of the new Rutgers–Camden Nursing and Science Building.”
Scheduled for occupancy in fall 2016, the Rutgers–Camden Nursing and Science Building will serve as the primary research and teaching facility for students and faculty in the areas of biology, chemistry, computational and integrative biology, nursing, and physics at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
The building will serve more than 1,000 nursing students in undergraduate and graduate programs. It will also support students in Rutgers–Camden’s Ph.D. in computational and integrative biology program and its doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. The facility will include classrooms, computer labs, conference rooms, lecture halls, student work and study stations, and administrative offices.
Construction is expected to begin during late spring 2014. Architectural design will be provided by H2L2 Architects in Philadelphia. Cooper’s Ferry Partnership in Camden will assist with the project.