Rutgers Unveils Plans for “Groundbreaking” Adult Autism Center


NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A first-of-its-kind center for adults with autism is slated to take root on Douglass Campus, where the closed Corwin houses now stand, according to a Rutgers University official.

Frank Wong, the school’s executive director of facilities, planning and development, introduced general plans for the Adult Autism Center last night, July 10, at the New Brunswick Planning Board meeting.

“It’s hoped that this will become the model for other universities,” Wong said of the project.

Sign Up for E-News

The first of the development’s two phases would result in a 12,500-square-foot, one-story building to be used by a program that provides vocational training for adults with autism, Wong said. That structure would include a large meeting area, staff offices and support space, he said.

Rutgers hopes for the facility to begin serving 50 to 60 individuals by late 2018, he said.

The second phase would usher in the construction of a neighboring residence hall that would house 20 adults with autism and graduate students who serve as mentors, Wong said. While those plans aren’t yet concrete, the building could house two-, three- and four-bedroom suites, he said.

The project would take up an area off Nichol Avenue, between Recreation Park and Dudley Road. It would encompass two “horseshoe” streets near the old Corwin dorms at Douglass College, the Little Theater and the Corwin Lodge. It’s also near a treatment plant owned by the New Brunswick Water Utility.

For years, the residential Corwin homes have been shuttered, with boards on their windows, Wong said. Demolition could begin later this year, depending on funding—though the Little Theater and the Corwin Lodge will remain.

“This project will actually clean up what has become a rather derelict area,” he added, “and is an improvement to the neighborhood and to the campus.”

But perhaps the most striking attribute of the endeavor is what it could do for people with autism in New Jersey and beyond.

As many as one in every 41 children in the state fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, according to the advocacy group Autism New Jersey. Nationally, the prevalence rate is one in 68, according to the organization.

Schools typically provide many services to individuals with autism until they turn 21, when they age out of the system, according to experts. Roughly 500,000 people with autism are expected to transition to adulthood over the next decade, Wong said.

Rutgers’ coming autism center is meant to help those adults get training and ultimately work jobs around campus, Wong said. That could include arranging books, sorting mail or working in dining halls, he said.

Graduate psychology students, meanwhile, would receive college credits for helping these clients work and navigate the bus system. Eventually, when the residence hall opens, grad students might also help adults with autism live there independently, Wong said.

In the early stages of the project, the day center would mostly serve as a home base for adults with autism, who would be dropped off there in the morning and picked up from that point after work, Wong said. They would spend their workdays across Rutgers.

When the residence hall goes up, the day center—with a kitchen, living room and game area—would “become sort of an extension of their living environment,” Wong noted.

“I think it’s a wonderful project, certainly,” Planning Board member John Petrolino said.

Rutgers officials have visited projects designed for people with autism on other campuses, but they have yet to find any arrangement that matches the scope of this one, Wong said.

“We believe it will be the first of its kind,” he said.

Rutgers came before the Planning Board only to present the project in terms of how it jibes with the master plan. The university didn’t offer up a full site plan.

For its part, the board recommended that the proposal does indeed align with the master plans of the city and Rutgers.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


TAPinto Bloomfield's Kevin Knight among Nutley Jaycee's Distinguished Service Honorees

March 19, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Jaycees wil hold the 47th annual Distinguished Service Awards Wednesday evening, April 12 at the Valley Regency in Clifton.

This year's awardees are:

Outstanding Young Man

Michael J. Nevin

Civic Affairs

Janet Canonico


Robyn Powell


Kevin Knight

Public Health and  Safety

Thomas Nicolette

The ...

Happy St. Patrick's Day from is a network of more than 70 franchised online local newspapers in New Jersey and New York with more than 7M readers during the last year. We provide original local news reporting 24/7 for the communities we serve, as well as a full-service events calendar, real estate listings, business directory, classifieds, and much, much more. Readers can receive FREE enews at ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, March 20, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Martin Luther King, Newark, and the Cool Spring ...

Education Law & Justice Other


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Understanding Liver Disease

Education Health & Wellness


Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 6:00 PM

Mountainside Medical Center, Glen Ridge

Power Up your Grocery Cart

Food & Drink Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Cedar Grove High School, Cedar Grove

Orange Invitational Volleyball Tournament ...

Education Food & Drink Giving Back Other Sports

Fri, March 23, 6:30 PM

Parks and Recreation Department , Nutley

Nutley Crew Beefsteak/Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Sports


Fri, March 23, 7:00 PM

West Orange High School , West Orange

WOHS Band Council Presents: A Concert for the ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness

Bloomfield Police Blotter February 19 - 25, 2018

March 2, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The following police blotter has been issued by Lt. Anthony Sisco of the Bloomfield Police Department.


2/19/18 – Officers dispatched to Modells (224 Bloomfield Ave) on a report of shoplifting. Complainant (Modells employee) observed an Unknown Black Male suspect place (2) “Nike” hooded sweatshirts and batting gloves (total value ...

Student-Led March for Our Lives to Take Place in Montclair, Mar. 24

March 19, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair and surrounding-area students are planning to participate in a movement called 'March for Our Lives' taking place on Saturday, March 24. Part of a nationwide movement to pass common-sense gun legislation in America, the students plan on gathering in several places across the state of New Jersey, including Montclair, Maplewood, Paterson, Union and ...

Man Dies from South Orange House Fire on Sunday

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A man has died from a house fire on Warwick Avenue in South Orange on Sunday afternoon, stated Thomas Fennelly, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

The fire, which began about 2 p.m. was contained by about 5 p.m., and required mutual aid from fire departments in neighboring towns, according to firefighters at the scene.

Floating Classroom Will Help Roxbury Kids Embrace 'Their' Lake Hopatcong

March 19, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – There are plenty of kids living in Roxbury who’ve never been on Lake Hopatcong, says lake buff Marty Kane. He’s even confident many don’t realize their town borders the big lake.

That’s one of the reasons Kane, chairman of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Board of Trustees, is bubbling with excitement about the upcoming launch of the ...

Technology ‘Hub’ proposed for Hub City’s downtown, covering 12 acres

NEW BRUNSWICK – State and city officials on Monday unveiled plans for a “hub” for research in the fields of technology and health care services to stretch over 12 acres.

Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking at a meeting at Rutgers University, said the "Innovation and Technology Hub,” which is in the planning stages, would include construction of 2 million to 4 million ...

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

March 18, 2018

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its ...

#Enough Nutley High School Walkout: By Students, for Students

March 16, 2018

To the Editor:

Disgusted by federal inaction, devastated by the Parkland shooting, and determined to see real change, students around the country walked out of class at 10 a.m. on March 14th, one month after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students of Nutley High School also protested, in solidarity with students from over 3000 other schools ...

Parkland What...Parkland Where...Parkland Wow!

Thinking of the 17 angels that lost their lives lost one month ago. Thinking of the injured that are still fighting to heal. Thinking of the #MSDSTRONGstudents, teachers and staff that had their innocence taken from them. Thinking of a community that draws strength from each other as we all try to move forward after the tragic events of Feb 14.

Parkland what...... Parkland where.......

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update February 19, 2018

Indoor track competed at the Group IV Championships and two athletes advanced to the Meet of Champions. Kaela Edwards broke her own school record in the 55-meter hurdles finishing second. La’Shan White finished an impressive 5th in the 400-meter run outrunning his number 10 seed.  

 Wrestling competed at the District 9 Championship. Two Bengals advanced to the Region ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update February 12, 2018

 Boys Basketball faced Barringer in a round of 16 match up in the ECT and won by a decisive score of 67-40. Junior Mike Ramos joined the 1000 point club for his career with a 29 point effort.

 Bowling added Essex County Championships for both the Boys and Girls to their already impressive resumes. The Boys County title is their first since the 2002-03 season while the Girls ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 20, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - The governor has targeted The Hub City as the new hub for innovation and technology. Gov. Phil Murphy was in town yesterday to meet with city, business and Rutgers officials to chat about how all the ongoing downtown investment will be a magnet for scientific and technological innovation, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The ...

Ten Ways to Be Productive on a Snow Day

March 7, 2018

Another Nor’Easter has smacked us in the face today.  After so many of us lost power for what seemed to be an eternity, it’s a good time to make up for lost productivity and work on the famous Stephen Covey Quadrant 2 Activities.  What are they you may ask?  Those are the activities that are Important, yet not urgent (well some of them can be).  In other ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Presents:Ron Guidry Book Signing, Apr. 3

March 19, 2018

Ron Guidry, known as "Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning" to his teammates, quickly rose in 1977 to become the ace of the Yankees' stellar pitching staff, helping the team regarded as one of the most famous and controversial in Yankees history to win two World Series championships. 

Join us on Tuesday, April 3 for a signing of Guidry's new ...

4th Wall Announces Auditions for FUN HOME

4th Wall Theatre, a non-union NJ theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles in the final production of its 2017-18 season, FUN HOME, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at ...

Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc 50/50 Raffle

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

Our trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community ...

Junior Summer Workshops To Be Held at Lord Stirling Stables

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable has announced the dates for the Junior Summer Workshops, which are themed five-day programs focusing on riding and horse care. The Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge.

Junior riders may enroll in Summer Workshops beginning Saturday, March 17, 2018 at ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Past Deputy Grand Marshall of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Merchant Marine veteran James J.
Read more
- Feb 28, 2018
John Genitempo, The “Silver Fox”, of Nutley, passed away on Wednesday February 28, 2018 ...
Read more