Rutgers University Endorses $295 Million Campus Development Initiative

by Katie Sloan

New Brunswick, N.J.  — Public-private partnership would transform the historic College Avenue Campus.

A rendering of the School of Arts and Sciences that will be built as part of the public-private partnership, which is bringing several new buildings to Rutgers.New Brunswick, N.J.  — The Rutgers University Board of Governors and Board of Trustees endorsed the framework for one of the most significant campus development initiatives in the university’s history on June 20. The project includes the first new academic building on the College Avenue Campus in nearly half a century.

The boards adopted a resolution authorizing the Rutgers administration to conduct formal negotiations with New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco) to implement the proposed $295 million campus initiative – which also would create a new residence hall and honors college to help meet rising student demand.

The framework advances a long-proposed initiative that would improve the university’s ability to attract top students and faculty, enhance the academic environment and strengthen Rutgers’ ties with its oldest host community. If approved, this initiative would include:

A 150,000-square-foot academic building atop the hill near Seminary Place. This building, expected to house several departments in the School of Arts and Sciences, would feature more than 2,000 seats of new classroom space. Completion is expected in fall 2016.

A residential honors college, adjacent to the new academic building, providing space for 500 honor students attending schools across the New Brunswick Campus. It is expected to open in fall 2015.

An 800-bed student residential facility, with street-level retail shopping and dining, at the corner of College Avenue and Hamilton Street. Devco is expected to own and manage the facility. Completion is expected in fall 2015.

A new campus parking deck off George Street, scheduled to open in fall 2013.

The boards’ resolution authorizes the administration to invest up to $295 million to cover the university’s projected share of the initiative. Of this total, $199 million would be financed through student residential and dining fees and $44 million through general operating revenues, both over a 30-year period. Another $52 million would be financed through state tax credits secured by Devco. Devco is the New Brunswick Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 urban real estate development company founded in the mid 1970s.

Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick noted that enrollment on the New Brunswick Campus has grown by 14 percent since 2006, while classroom space has increased by only 3.8 percent.

“This initiative would help the university meet the growing demand for modern classroom and residential space, while a campuswide honors college would enable Rutgers to attract New Jersey’s best and brightest students,” President McCormick said. “It has long been my hope to transform the university’s most historic campus with modern facilities and a more aesthetically pleasing, pedestrian-friendly environment that would help us recruit and retain the finest faculty and students. This public-private partnership with Devco would make that hope a reality.”

Rutgers University has used similar approaches on other development projects.

In Camden, a partnership between the university and the Camden County Improvement Authority led to a $55 million on-campus housing facility that will provide space for 350 graduate students beginning this fall. In Newark, tax credits are being pursued to help finance the $71 million renovation of the historic 15 Washington Street building into housing for 350 graduate students.

Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities, serving more than 58,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick.

You may also like