Rowan to seek state aid for four new buildings

Posted: March 10, 2013

Rowan University will seek state funding for four new buildings that would radically transform its campuses, but acknowledges that the state could provide only a portion of the $350 million the projects will cost.

On Monday, Rowan will submit detailed proposals to the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to create or expand facilities for its Rohrer College of Business, College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering, and School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Most of the funding would come from a $750 million fund created by a bond referendum approved in November, the first of its kind in 24 years.

"Every [higher education] entity across the state is clamoring for the same dollars," said Rowan's spokesman, Joe Cardona. "We could find they approve none, or partially fund parts of several," projects.

He said Rowan was optimistic, however, because it was recently designated a comprehensive public research university, the second in the state after Rutgers University. The referendum allocated $300 million for capital construction at state research universities.

Rutgers is seeking funding for new construction and renovations valued at $410 million.

Founded in 1926 as a state teachers' college in Glassboro, Rowan was transformed in 1992 with a grant of $100 million from the industrialist Henry Rowan and his wife, Betty. It now enrolls 10,500 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students.

Regardless of what the state might award Rowan this year, Cardona said, "we are committed to all the projects you see on the list. The only question is the timeline," which will be determined by available funding.

All schools seeking funding must demonstrate that their building plans would expand enrollment, are part of a master plan, and are "shovel ready," meaning construction can begin swiftly. The state would fund no more than 75 percent of any project. Rowan has taken that formula into account.

The plans it will submit with its application Monday call for:

A 110,000-square-foot building for the Rohrer College of Business on the Glassboro campus, for which the university is seeking support of $66.8 million. Rohrer is housed in facilities built in 1923, the oldest classroom building on campus.

A 110,000-square-foot building for the College of Health Sciences in downtown Camden. The project is seeking support of $83.5 million. The college is a partnership of Rowan and Rutgers.

A 175,000-square-foot expansion of the College of Engineering on the Glassboro campus, for which the university is seeking $75 million in support. The current building, designed for 500 students, now serves 750. The university projects the expansion would allow it to double enrollment.

A 31,000-square-foot addition to the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford for classrooms, lecture halls, study spaces, and added parking. The project seeks $32.2 in support.

The school's board of trustees authorized the application at its meeting Thursday. The state is expected announce its grants by early summer.


Contact David O'Reilly at 856-779-3841 or doreilly@phillynews.com.

|
|
|
|
|