Rowan awards $150,000 contract for center to Phila. consultants

Rowan awards $150,000 contract for center to Phila. consultants

By GENE VERNACCHIO, Courier-Post Staff

GLASSBORO--Rowan University trustees have taken the first step toward making its South Jersey High-Technology Center a reality.

They awarded a $150,000 contract Wednesday night to Philadelphia-based University City Science Center to help Rowan develop a strategic plan for the center.

"We've hired them to work with us as our consultants," said Philip Tumminia, Rowan's executive vice president.

"We have some ideas, but what we really want to do is work with an expert and really go through the process so that we' re not pushing something that has no chance at success," Tumminia said.

He said the university will work with the center over the next six to nine months.

Dr. Donald Farish, Rowan's president, said the university is also completing land acquisition for the center and submitting building permit applications.

"We're designing the concept of the center," Farish said. " What will it include? What will it look like? What services will it provide? What kinds of clients should we be looking for? And what should the relationship with our clients be? Should they be renters or part-owners?

"Those are the kinds of questions we will be using the University City Science Center to help us answer because those are questions they have dealt with for over 30 years," Farish said.

The science center is a nonprofit organization established in 1963 and owned by a consortium of 30 academic and scientific institutions. It develops and manages research and technology parks.

Officials from the group couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

Farish said the university is likely to launch its national search for an executive director to oversee the new center in about six months. By then, Rowan will have a better handle on the high-tech center's mission, he said.

In June, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded Rowan a $6 million grant to create the technology center in what now are orchards in Mantua.

Rowan will build its center on 30 to 50 acres at routes 322 and 55. Initially, the school will construct a 25,000- square-foot building.

Farish anticipates construction of the facility could start in nine to 12 months and be completed by fall 2003.

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Date Published: Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 14:33
Source URL: Courier-Post