Middlesex County News

Battling for Big 10 Success, Rutgers Approves $115 Million Practice Facility

147433562f5e9f046f4e_RWJBH_Athletic_Performance_Center_plaza_viewLORES.JPG
A rendering of the $115 million athletics practice facility approved yesterday by Rutgers. Credits: Ben Solomon/Rutgers University
147433562f5e9f046f4e_RWJBH_Athletic_Performance_Center_plaza_viewLORES.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A sprawling new athletics practice facility is set to take root on Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus come fall 2019.

The Board of Governors approved the construction of the $115 million project yesterday, April 6, during its meeting in Winants Hall. If all goes as planned, it will yield a four-story, 125,000-square-foot practice facility for basketball, wrestling and gymnastics, along with a 555-space parking deck, according to university documents.

“We are incredibly excited about this project,” Patt Hobbs, Rutgers’ athletics director, said in a statement. “The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students and the competitiveness of our programs.”

Sign Up for E-News

The hulking structure got its name after the board approved an agreement with RWJ Barnabas Health last fall. In exchange for naming rights, the medical group is poised to contribute a “multimillion-dollar” gift, according to the university.

The remainder of tab is expected to be covered by as much as $25 million in tax credits from the state Economic Development Authority, funding from the Big Ten Build campaign—which has thus far raised $70 million—and bonding, according to the school.

Indeed, Rutgers plans to go to bond to raise the $26 million required for the 28,000-square-foot, six-level parking structure. The university expects to pay down that debt with fees gathered for event parking and the like.

Rutgers officials envision the “state-of-the-art” practice facility as the new face of the Athletics Department, according to the project summary.

“The building will vastly strengthen Rutgers Athletics’ identity and create a significant new destination on the Livingston Campus and for student athletes and the Rutgers community at large,” the document reads.

Anchoring the building, on its ground floor, will be a Rutgers Athletics hall of fame, a spirit shop and a visible public entrance and lobby.

Plans also call for strength and conditioning facilities and space for the gymnastics program on the first floor. The gymnastics space will include a full gym, locker rooms, a training area and coaches’ offices.

The second floor is set to house a dining area for student-athletes. Wrestling facilities, including three mats, locker rooms, a training area and office space, will also occupy this level.

The third and fourth floors will be dedicated to women’s and men’s basketball. The third floor is poised to accommodate two extra-large courts, locker rooms, training space, lounges, an area to view film and more. Offices and team space will comprise the fourth floor.

Any of the university’s 600 student-athletes may use the space, according to Rutgers. But it will primarily serve 15 women’s basketball players, 15 men’s basketball players, 16 gymnasts and 28 wrestlers, according to the project summary.

“When completed, the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center will serve our Big Ten athletes, benefit the wider New Jersey community through sports medicine research and provide parking in what will be a vibrant corner of the Livingston Campus,” said Antonio Calcado, Rutgers’ executive vice president for strategic planning and operations.

This project is but the latest in an ambitious drive by the athletics department to boost Rutgers’ standing in the prestigious Big Ten Conference, which it officially joined in 2014.

That drive largely calls for construction to replace “outdated and undersized” athletics facilities, according to university documents.

The RWJBarnabas practice center is one of three projects proposed for the first phase of the campaign. In February, Rutgers’ board of governors approved $8.5 million in renovations to football practice fields. Athletics Department officials also hope to build a lacrosse and soccer training complex, according to the school.

“These pivotal projects will result in additional square feet of critical training space,” the project summary reads, “and will have a dramatic and wide-ranging impact on all 24 Rutgers athletic programs.”

Rutgers plans for the multi-sport practice facility approved this week to become part of the Athletics Plaza on Livingston.

It’ll sit near the Louis Brown Athletic Center, and both structures would be connected by a covered pedestrian bridge. The business school stands across the street from the project site.

Construction on the RWJBarnabas practice center is expected to begin this spring.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

Obituaries

South Plainfield – John T. Felz, Jr., 71, passed away at his home on Thursday, June 14, ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

South Plainfield Special Athletes Have Great Showing in This Year's State Games

June 22, 2018

Tyler is one of many athletes from South Plainfield who competed in this year's State Games, held at the college of New Jersey. This was Tyler's third year competing, but the first year where Tyler won a gold medal in, in both the long jump and mini javelin. We are proud of all the athletes who represented South Plainfield and the coaching staff.

Community Happenings

Mayor, Council Proclaim 'Amateur Radio Week’ in the Borough of South Plainfield

June 22, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- At a June 18 meeting, South Plainfield Mayor Matt Anesh and the Borough Council proclaimed June 17 through June 23 as ‘Amateur Radio Week’ and asked all residents to extend their appreciation and respect to the community’s  amateur radio operators.

South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) will be participating in the American Radio Relay ...

South Plainfield Elks Honor Students of the Month

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Tuesday, June 12, the South Plainfield Elks honored the winners of the Grant School Character Education Monthly Pillars.  The students and their families were treated to a pasta dinner cooked and served by the Elks Youth Activities Committee and the students were given Junior Citizen of the Month Certificates.

The winners were as follows: 

Caring – ...

Holy Savior Academy’s Championship Cheerleaders Seek Funds for New Equipment

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Holy Savior Academy Cheerleading Squad has kicked off a fundraiser to generate $5,500 for the purchase of much-needed equipment, such as new tumble mats, sound equipment, and more for the award-winning squad.

“The group of twelve girls range from 1st through 4th grades,” said parent Marybeth Parache, who is heading up efforts to raise funds.  ...

Wrestling Ring Presentation

June 20, 2018

The South Plainfield High School Wrestling Team,  who have earned the title of “Three Peat Champs”,  received their State rings on Sunday, June 10, 2018.  Presentation of the rings an plaques were given by SPHS Wrestling Coach Pavlack an assistant coaches.   Funding  for the rings were donated by the South Plainfield Wrestling Club,  who has been one of ...

Inclusive Playground Ribbon Cutting Tonight - June 20

Nixle Alert - Official ribbon cutting at 6:30 om tonight to open inclusive playground at Willow Park.  All are invited to attend, A special storytime will follow.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0261cd4c5700fd63e54b_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Carousel_image_ba23f8d0d41677854e89_spb-4937_newsletter_june_26

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_5b249c4a7e6808d9d7bb_spb-4937_newsletter_june_27

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_295f5001319d0d50ecf4_spb-4937_newsletter_june_28

Thu, June 28, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_294da35e9b80010760c4_spb-4962_newsletter_july_6

Fri, July 6, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Road Warriors vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Sports

Columns

Weinberg, Diegnan Bill to Establish University-Based Consortium on Media Innovation Advances

TRENTON –A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan that would establish a state university-based consortium to advance research in the field of media and technology was passed from the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

“The state’s traditional newspaper market has been upended by changes in ...

South Plainfield and SP BOE Working Together to Strengthen School Security

South Plainfield, NJ - On Monday evening the Borough Council hired two new police officers. These hiring’s will allow two additional police officers to be stationed at South Plainfield Public Schools and will supplement the already strong security measures enacted by the Board of Education and the South Plainfield Police.

The hired officers are part of an interlocal agreement ...

Bookmarks

The South Plainfield Public Library will be open this Sunday, June 24 from 1:30 PM – 5 PM.  This is the last Sunday the library will be open until September.  During July and August, the library will be closed on Sundays, but the rest of the hours during the week will remain the same.

Come join us Monday, June 25 at 6:30 PM for Monday Night Movies.  The selection this week ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Ends Its Year with a Big Banquet

Our country has a long and rich history of service clubs contributing to the growth of their communities but there have been signs in the past two decades that interest in these groups is waning.  Not so at Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield.  Thanks to the efforts of Membership Chair Grace Bertucci, this past year seven new members joined this relatively small group of ...

Press Releases

SPARC RECEIVES PROCLAMATION & GETS READY FOR ARRL ANNUAL FIELD DAY

June 22, 2018

SPARC RECEIVES PROCLAMATION & GETS READY FOR ARRL ANNUAL FIELD DAY

The Borough of South Plainfield has issued the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club(SPARC) a Proclamation at Borough Hall, on June 18,2018 at 7 PM.

The Proclamation is honoring the annual ARRL Amateur Radio Week, June 18th through June 24th and the amateur radio operators nationwide for their public service to the ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...