NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — If you've recently walked College Avenue, you know just how different it looks.
But Rutgers University's upgrades didn't end there. In fact, from a renovated football practice complex to revamped food options, quite a bit has changed on the banks since the spring semester finished.
“This past year has been especially rewarding because we've made such a significant difference in the student experience at the university,” Antonio Calcado, Rutgers' head of strategic planning and operations and the chief operating officer, told a school official. “All the projects are meaningful additions to everyday student life. As professionals, we strive for this type of impact, and I believe we've achieved it.”
While change has gripped university campuses across the state, this story focuses on what's new in and near New Brunswick. Here's the rundown on what you can expect to find this semester.
The overhaul of this iconic road excited many in the Hub City, who've discussed it plenty over the past few weeks.
Rutgers and City Hall worked together to cap the redevelopment initiative, according to the university. In doing so, they replaced 50 metered parking spots between Hamilton and Huntington streets with two-way bike lanes and a bus lane. The colorful improvements—the bike lanes are green and the bus lane red—have altered the look of College Avenue.
“I think the roadwork makes for safer conditions and aesthetically enhances College Avenue to make it look like part of our campus,” Calcado said. “Every student in New Brunswick goes through there at least once a week.”
Although those parking spots were removed, others were added to nearby Rutgers lots, according to the school.
What's more, workers installed permanent fencing between Scott and Ford halls, with breaks at crosswalks, according to Rutgers. That includes a “high-intensity” signaled path near The Yard, an area that has proven dangerous at times in the past.
“The project solves a number of problems,” Calcado said, noting that the smaller driving lanes could slow the speed of traffic. “It keeps students from running out between cars into traffic.”
Rutgers and New Brunswick also replaced “worn road surface and infrastructure,” including underground sewer lines, according to the school.
Marco Battaglia Practice Complex
Here's one for the football fans.
The Scarlet Knights' practice football facility on the Busch Campus has undergone an $8.5 million face lift, as previously reported by TAPinto New Brunswick. The practice fields, which sit next to High Point Solutions Stadium, also support the men's and women's lacrosse teams, according to the school.
The 364,000 square feet of practice space hide behind a brick entryway, complete with a memorial to Marco Battaglia, the former Rutgers football star whose name graces the project. Inside, visitors will find natural grass fields, a new video screen, permanent restrooms, a film tower, better irrigation and drainage systems and more. It replaces two 20-year-old turf fields.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building
Rutgers touts this addition as a “world-class” facility “designed to serve and train the next generation of globally engaged scientists” and boost New Jersey's chemical industry.
The $115 million building is set to open late fall, according to the university. When it does, its 141,000 square feet on Busch Campus will support teachers, classrooms and collaborative and administrative space through “flexible research laboratory areas,” according to Rutgers.
William Levine Hall Building Addition
While construction continues at this Piscataway building, the 57,000-square-foot addition is slated for completion this semester. The $37.5 million space stands to house two auditoriums, four 60-seat classrooms, laboratories, group-study rooms and more. It will serve Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
For one, meal swipe values at Rutgers Dining Services' retail spots have climbed from $6 to $7 for breakfast and $8 to $9 for lunch and dinner, according to the Daily Targum.
But Rutgers' food gurus have also begun accepting swipes at the Cook Campus's Harvest at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, according to the university. The dining venue offers a variety of healthy, innovative foods—all at your fingertips.
Beyond that, Rutgers' head of dining services told the Targum that he plans to introduce “the Menus of Change principle” to every eatery in the school. That means vegetables will take center stage in each dish, and meats will play second fiddle. It also focuses on less-processed foods and whole grains, moving away from bad fats and sugar, according to the student newspaper.
TAPinto New Brunswick has already detailed a number of changes to the gameday experience—from new grub and activities to transportation and even a mobile app. Click here to learn more.
This university is sprawling. Please let us know what we missed. We're happy to update this road map to Rutgers.