Rutgers 2030- Hello Beautiful!
By: Ryan Moran
Rutgers University has some catching up to do when it comes to improving its appearance and infrastructure.
With this year being the 250th Anniversary of Rutgers University, the Board of Governors took the necessary steps on June 18 of last year to take the campuses to new heights and improvement with the approval of the Rutgers 2030 plan.
The plan is a comprehensive makeover plan of all four of the Rutgers-New Brunswick campuses, with the main focus on the College Avenue campus.
“College Ave is already the center of Rutgers-New Brunswick campus, and we just want to make it look that way by cleaning up the mess,” Senior Vice President of Institutional Planning and Operations Antonio Calcado said an interview, in reference to the area of Stonier, Brower and Record Hall.
Calcado played a major role in the creation of the plan in 2012 and is now finally seeing the start of it come to fruition with the completion of the first Honors College Dorm in 2015, previously approved before the full plan.
The College Avenue campus has become known to students for it’s interactive scene, its proximity to Easton Avenue and the partying.
Over the years students and alumni have seen Rutgers put the time and effort in to the Livingston campus building beautiful apartment buildings, a remodeled student center, a new dining hall and new business school.
Rutgers hierarchy identified this issue and decided to take action. The plan specifically says it hopes to “reinforce College Avenue as the heart of New Brunswick.”
The College Avenue campus is due for a major overhaul in the years to come.
We have already seen one of the three Honors College dorms completed with the other two on their way. “The Yard” is close to completion for the fall semester of 2016.
But the major attraction will be “The Quadrangle.”
Gone will be the days of Brower Commons and Records Hall, and in their place – a new dining hall, student center, classroom buildings and gym, along with a transit hub that will be built.
The quadrangle will help to not only make the campus an attractive scene but also help student interaction, with the likes of the lawn and the way it is to be built.
“The plan is to benefit the student,” Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Felicia McGinty said. “We want to make their time here as enjoyable as possible and cater to them as best we can. We want the students to engage in the co-curricular experience more. This plan can help us do that and give students a true college experience.”
McGinty believes that the new student center and programming space will really benefit, not only the on-campus student, but also the commuter by making their experience better.
“A lot of my student meetings and office hours are geared towards the issues that commuters face,” she said. “I’m happy to see that we are going to fix a majority of those problems for the long-term.”
Calcado said a lot of the ideas in the plan could be geared to commuters and making their experience that much better.
The plan calls for the demolition of Hardenbergh Hall and in its place will be the George Street transit Hub. The Hub will make traffic smoother and serve as an important access point for the campus.
In general, each campus will have a transit hub.
“The transit hubs are envisioned as gateways into and out of each district, where express bus services are provided across campus,” the plan states.
It hopes to create a more fluid bus system with fewer issues around campuses.
Right behind the Transit Hub will be the bridge that goes over the Raritan connecting the Livingston and College Avenue campuses.
In addition to the bridge, the plan calls for a boardwalk over the Raritan behind the transit Hub connecting to the Cook/Douglass campus.
“We feel that it gives the campuses not only easier accessibility but a different route to get from campus to campus especially for bikers,” Calcado said. “The one thing we have never taken advantage of here at Rutgers, is one of our cooler assets, and that’s the Raritan River. We want the river to be part of the university’s fabric. We feel we accomplish that in this plan.”