Gov. Christie, Sen. Sweeney celebrate groundbreaking for new Rowan Engineering building
Gov. Chris Christie and State Sen. President Steve Sweeney will be the guests of honor when the Rowan University College of Engineering holds a groundbreaking for its second building on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m., on the grounds by Rowan Hall, just off Bowe Boulevard, Glassboro, N.J.
Funding for the new building comes in part from the recent Building Our Future Bond Act, a referendum approved by New Jersey voters last fall. The State awarded Rowan $117 million from the Bond Act and other State funds that will enable the University, among other initiatives, to construct new buildings for the College of Engineering and for the Rohrer College of Business. With the addition of added classroom and lab space, both schools will be able to increase their student populations to approximately 2,000 per college.
That is important to both Rowan and to the region. With the institution of Rowan as New Jersey’s third state public research institution earlier this year, the University is increasing its focus on research that addresses real-world problems and the commercialization of marketable products. The College of Engineering will be one of the prime drivers of that research through existing majors and a planned biomedical engineering program. That research is expected to also lead to the development of new businesses in the region.
“The State made a tremendous investment in Rowan University, and that investment will pay off,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University. “Each year, we turn away hundreds of qualified engineering students simply because we do not have room for them. These are students with excellent GPAs and outstanding SAT scores who enroll in other colleges and universities. These are students who have the potential to be future leaders in their fields, researchers, academics and entrepreneurs. This new College of Engineering building will provide increased opportunities for New Jersey residents to stay in our State to receive their college education in high-demand fields.”
The new College of Engineering building will be a three-story, 90,500-square-foot addition to the current building. Cost is projected at $71 million. Construction is expected to be completed during academic year 2016-17. The project and the construction of new facilities for Rowan’s Rohrer College of Business are expected to create more than 550 construction jobs, generate more than $180 million in economic activity and create more than 100 permanent positions in Glassboro.
The Rowan College of Engineering was founded in part from the $100 million contribution industrialist Henry Rowan and his late wife, Betty, made to then-Glassboro State College in 1992. The College has gone on to receive recognition from numerous educational organizations, engineering groups and publications. Rowan Engineering graduated its first class in 2000. Today, close to 930 students are enrolled in its graduate program and undergraduate programs in chemical, civil and environment, electrical and computer, and mechanical engineering.