Parking plan to add up to 700 new spaces
Rowan University is redesigning parking on the main Glassboro campus to make way for major construction projects including a second academic building for the College of Engineering (CoE) and a new home for the Rohrer College of Business (RCoB).
Though specific site and design plans are in their final stages, Senior Vice President for Facilities, Planning and Operations Donald Moore this week said that most of Lot A, the main parking lot just west of Westby Hall, would close to accommodate construction for the new home for the RCoB.
Likewise, M-1, the gravel lot in front of Rowan Hall, will close prior to construction for the new CoE building.
Moore said construction for both buildings is planned to begin in November and that parking lots A and M-1 would close prior to the start of construction.
To make up for lots A and M-1, parking will be created on University practice fields behind James Hall. New Athletics fields, which are used by various teams including football, track & field, soccer and softball, will be built on the south side of Route 322 on Rowan’s West Campus, opposite the South Jersey Technology Park, where the long-term plan is development of a full sports complex.
“When we close lots A and M-1 we’ll need parking and moving the practice fields to the West Campus is the best viable option,” Moore said.
He said a master parking plan is under development for the main campus that will encourage motorists to use both ground level lots and parking garages behind the Townhouses and on Rowan Boulevard.
Moore said about 200 parking spaces regularly go unused in the garage behind the Townhouses and about 250 go unused in the Rowan Boulevard garage.
“There’s a perception that if we close Lot A we’ll be at a loss for parking but that’s not the case,” he said.
Rowan, which owns about 600 acres of land about a mile west of the main campus, is investigating a limited shuttle service to the new practice fields once they are built, Moore said.
New campus gateway?
While designs for both new academic buildings have yet to be finalized, the expanded CoE building could serve as one of three new gateways to campus, Moore said.
Other new gateways could include the new RCoB building and new student housing.
For the CoE, the plan is to double the size of Rowan Hall with a three-story, 90,500-square-foot addition to the current building. Cost is projected at $71 million but about 65 to 70 percent of it will be funded through the Building Our Future Bond Act, which N.J. voters approved in 2012.
The new home for the RCoB will cost about $63 million and about two-thirds of that will also be paid through funding from the bond act. Conceptual designs site it near Westby Hall with views of Rowan and Wilson halls, Moore said.
In addition to construction of the academic buildings, plans are underway to build new housing on the north side of Route 322 opposite the Rowan Boulevard Apartments with 1,200 to 1,400 beds, Moore said.
During a groundbreaking for the new CoE building last fall, Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand said demand for University programs continues to grow and that funding for the new structures will well serve the taxpayers of New Jersey.
“Each year we turn away hundreds of qualified (students) simply because we do not have room for them,” Dr. Houshmand said.