Rutgers-Camden opens $62.5M Nursing and Science building

Camden’s growing reputation as an “eds and meds” center in the state got another big boost this week with the dedication of Rutgers-Camden’s $62.5 million Nursing and Science building.

University officials feel the 107,000-square-foot building, located at Fifth and Federal streets, will strengthen the school’s role as a regional leader in health care and the sciences, calling it a world-class teaching and research facility that will allow the school to expand its ability to prepare a new generation of leaders.

More than 1,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs will benefit each year from the facility’s array of cutting-edge computer labs, classrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls, student work and study stations, and faculty and administrative offices, school officials said.

They said the building will have two nursing lab stations, the Simulation Lab and the Basic Clinical Competencies Lab, comprising 9,160 square feet. There also will be a Physics Laser Materials Lab, which will incorporate equipment that has been funded by National Science Foundation awards to Rutgers-Camden and supports a wide range of physics research studies.

“This is a transformative moment for Camden,” Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This building represents Rutgers’ first bold step in forging an ‘eds and meds’ corridor that moves us closer toward our vision of a city where innovation in health care and bioscience commands the imagination of the world.”

Camden Mayor Dana Redd thanked Rutgers for being a leading partner in the city’s transformation.

“This facility is yet another Rutgers symbol of excellence and pride that will be used for many decades to come,” Redd said.

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi lauded the extraordinary “two-way street” that has enabled Rutgers and the city of Camden to thrive. He poignantly noted that the Nursing and Science Building is located within view of Camden City Hall, where — on the side of the building — the words of Walt Whitman are etched: “In a dream, I saw a city invincible.”

“No surprise that these words are looking out at Rutgers-Camden, and that Rutgers-Camden sees these words every day,” Barchi said. “It’s the two of us working together that is making that dream a reality.”

Supported by funds from the higher education bond referendum passed by New Jersey voters in November 2012, the education and medical corridor in Camden will connect the city’s University District — which includes the Rutgers-Camden campus — with the neighborhood populated by Cooper University Hospital, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.