Wish list for Rowan College expansion includes student housing, urgent care

by Caitlyn Stulpin for NJ.com on March 7, 2017

DEPTFORD TWP. -- Rowan College at Gloucester County is conducting a feasibility study to look into expanding the campus to include a medical study and treatment site, student housing and stores. Garrison Architects of Bellmawr and Clark Caton Hintz of Trenton are conducting the study.

The plans, which would be considered only after a positive outcome of feasibility test, would take 44 acres of land on Tanyard and Salina roads, behind the preexisting campus, and rent them out for the three-phase expansion plan at the ever-growing community college

Rowan at Glo Co Expansion
RCGC's expansion plan would include three phases; one for a medical center, one for student housing and one for retail. (Photo Provided)


"This plan will change the complexion of the college, change the relationship we have with Rowan University and other premier partners, and change the relationship Rowan College at Gloucester County has with the community college education," said President Fredrick Keating.

Phase One

What sprung from a conversation with Deptford Township Mayor Paul Medany, who needed to leave the town to go to Urgent Care for a sore throat, has lead to plans for an express, primary care and pharmacy facility to be built in the phase one portion of the expansion. The facility would run in conjunction with the college's new Eds & Meds program which will partner higher education with health care service to give students learning and training opportunities.

Additionally, the phase one area, marked in yellow on the map above, would include specialized facilities and departments for treating and studying behavior and physical adolescent health.

"Adding on to the adolescent health studies, we want to have a place to work with autistic children," Keating said. "I think it could have a huge draw. Currently, our families here are crossing bridges for treatments and studies. A localized place to treat and study autism would benefit everyone."

These medical facilities would be multifaceted allowing for the students and community to benefit from them, Keating explained noting that the community could use the facilities for treatments and students could learn and get practice working in them.

Phase Two

Having such a draw for students outside the county to take part in the Eds & Meds program would call for some type of student housing on campus, making phase two's student housing a necessity.

"To put student apartments on campus, turning RCGC into a residential campus, that's a big thing," Keating said.

The campus' current enrollment was more than 6,500 students -- both full and part-time -- as of the spring 2017 semester.

The apartments would have security run by RCGC but would be owned and maintained through a developer. Keeping the second phase cohesive with the first, the apartments would also be considered for disabled people creating a mixed-use appeal, as long as the situation is compatible with the students studies and needs.

"Students want this but they want it inexpensively," said Keating. "These wouldn't be five-star hotel type rooms."

Keating added that they would keep a close eye on housing, potentially partnering with Rowan University to work on the housing plan.

Phase Three

The final phase of the expansion plan, which would only be considered if the first two phases were a success, Keating said, would include retail space similar to that of Rowan Univeristy's Rowan Boulevard or The College of New Jersey's Campus Town. The spaces would be used for food, personal care, a fitness center and "could really be a vibrant place to be," according to Keating.

All of the phases include room for additional parking lots as well, to keep parking problems to a minimum.

Although there is no developer on the project yet, the feasibility study began Tuesday afternoon and is scheduled to continue through June.

"This expansion could really draw brain power in to this region," he added. "It's the right thing to do."

The college is hoping to announce more in July.

 

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