Rutgers Big Ten Build: Groundbreaking commences on RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center
November 1st’s groundbreaking ceremony on the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center at Rutgers University signalled a new partnership between Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health to create a comprehensive sports medicine program to serve Rutgers athletes, students and communities throughout New Jersey. Through this partnership, RWJBarnabas Health will become the exclusive health care provider for Rutgers Athletics, while creating a best-in-class sports medicine program that can be expanded across the state.
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi and RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry H. Ostrowsky joined University, RWJBarnabas Health, state and community officials to break ground on a 295,000sqft, four-storey sports facility and parking deck located adjacent to the Rutgers Athletics Center (RAC) in Piscataway.
The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center will also be the headquarters for a world-class sports medicine program. RWJBarnabas Health will develop and manage the program, which will provide Rutgers’ 625 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletes with an extensive array of health care services and pursue advances in sports medicine.
President Barchi said:
This partnership between New Jersey’s State University, with its academic health center, and the state’s most comprehensive integrated health system, will be transformational on many levels, giving our students and athletes a world-class sports medicine program and helping us construct a cutting-edge athletic training facility.
RWJBarnabas Health is investing a total of US$18m to create a sports medicine program and for construction of the facility, which will be completed by July 2019. The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center will be built on the site of the existing parking lot southwest of the RAC and northwest of the Rutgers Business School. The RWJBarnabas Health sports medicine program will be comprised of athletic trainers, physical therapists, sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, sports psychologists, psychiatrists and other behavioural health specialists, sports performance specialists and nutritional experts.
The RWJBarnabas Health Sports Medicine Center will be accessible to the entire Rutgers community and the public, in addition to Rutgers athletes.
Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health, said:
It is our mission to bring the best of academic medicine, research, education and providers together to create healthier communities in New Jersey. This partnership represents the next natural step in bringing together The State University of New Jersey and the state’s finest health care system.
This will allow both of our organizations to leverage resources to serve the Rutgers students, faculty and surrounding communities. With the new RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center serving as the cornerstone for a nationally recognized collegiate athletics and sports medicine program, we look forward to investing in academic medical education, sports performance and overall community wellness.
In addition to the Sports Medicine Center, the building will provide a state-of-the-art practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and gymnastics. The investment also will fund upgraded sports medicine equipment and facilities at the Hale Center.
Rutgers Director of Athletics Patrick Hobbs said:
Our partnership with RWJBarnabas Health is a testament to the leadership of Dr. Barchi and Barry H. Ostrowsky. They share a vision to provide our students, and athletes across the state, with the very best in sports medicine and together we will do that. Everyone is coming together to provide our students and coaches with the resources they need to compete at a championship level. This is a day to celebrate the commitment of our Governor, our partners in the Legislature, and the many Rutgers alumni and friends who are responding to our call to be all in.
The sports medicine program also will aim to advance academic opportunities in sports-medicine fields. Affiliated physicians and practitioners will be able to hone sports medicine skills in a Big Ten practice setting, whether in the renovated Hale Center, RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center or on the sidelines at athletics practices and games.
This collaboration follows another strategic partnership announced recently in which RWJBarnabas Health will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years to advance medical research at Rutgers University’s medical schools to attract highly regarded researchers and increase National Institutes of Health funding.
Brian L. Strom, Executive Vice President of Health Affairs and Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, said:
This is the next step in a partnership that will help us recruit nationally recognized researchers, specialists and clinical staff to provide the highest quality clinical care, leading-edge research, and top-tier health education and create a nationally recognized academic health center in New Jersey.
“R Big Ten Build,” a targeted campaign to raise US$100m for new or upgraded facilities, was launched on January 20, 2016. Phase I, created in collaboration with the University Physical Master Plan, includes three projects: the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, a Lacrosse and Soccer Training Complex and a Football Training Complex/Expansion of the Hale Center.
“R Big Ten Build” surpassed the US$50m milestone in just 15 weeks. The initiative has received 10 donations of more than US$1m, including the three largest gifts in Rutgers Athletics history, which combine to exceed US$11m. As of mid-October, 1,571 donors had contributed US$31.5m, totalling US$56.5m toward the campaign. In addition, tax credits of US$25m, which await final approval by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, will help fund the construction.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.
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The ‘Big 10’ Vision
Rutgers is committed to building championship contenders in the Big Ten. This commitment means the University must build premier training facilities for elite student-athletes from New Jersey, the nation, and around the globe. To fulfill this objective, Rutgers Athletics is embarking on the Big Ten Build, a comprehensive campaign to raise US$100m for new or upgraded athletic facilities.
Phase I of the Big Ten Build, created in collaboration with the University Physical Master Plan, includes three projects: a Multisport Training Complex (RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center), adjacent to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC); a Lacrosse, Soccer and Tennis Training Complex; and an enhanced Football Training Complex, at the Hale Center. These pivotal projects will result in additional square feet of critical training space and will have a dramatic and wide-ranging impact on all 24 Rutgers athletic programs and on the 600 student-athletes who represent Rutgers on a national stage.
The Big Ten Build will provide state-of-the-art practice centres for men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and gymnastics, as well as key support areas for football, volleyball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer and tennis.
These facilities will meet a crucial need for high-performance training, exceptional academic support, first-class sports medicine, and critical shared pathways that will support a championship culture at Rutgers.
Rutgers Athletics’ core mission is to graduate student-athletes. To that end, the vacated space in the RAC will become a much-needed expanded academic centre and gathering space for all 14 sports that train on the Livingston Campus.
The landscape of facilities development in the Big Ten is highly competitive. Some of the nation’s most impressive student-athlete performance centres and training facilities are on Big Ten campuses. All 13 of Rutgers’ Big Ten peers are undergoing or are about to launch athletic facility campaigns, ranging from US$100m to US$350m.
Although Rutgers Athletics has invested about US$118m in athletic facilities over the past 10 years, most of that spending has gone toward improving the fan experience at High Point Solutions Stadium. There is no better time than now for Rutgers to launch its own facility campaign, which will have a dramatic impact on all varsity athletic programs by providing a first-class opportunity for Rutgers’ student-athletes.
The Big Ten Build will help Rutgers Athletics achieve its goal of building championship programs by:
- TRANSFORMING the student-athlete experience through academic and athletic development
- ATTRACTING AND RETAINING best-in-class students and coaches through state-of-the-art facilities
- CREATING A CHAMPIONSHIP CULTURE dedicated to excellence
As the newest member of the Big Ten, Rutgers has gained unparalleled exposure. The University’s ascent to national prominence will depend on support of this game-changing plan.
Phase I includes three projects: the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, a Lacrosse and Soccer Training Complex and a Football Training Complex/Expansion of the Hale Center.
RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center
The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center and Integrated Parking Facility will satisfy program needs for Rutgers’ basketball program and other varsity teams currently accommodated in recreation facilities.
Key features will include:
- Unlimited access to practice courts, giving basketball players the opportunity to perfect their skills between classes, meetings, and team practices
- A wrestling training area that will be one of the finest in the country
- Equitable training space for female student-athletes
- A café serving healthy meals to student-athletes
The architects working on the project are Perkins Eastman with Sink Combs Dethlefs.
Lacrosse, Soccer and Tennis Training Complex
The Lacrosse, Soccer and Tennis Training Complex will include state-of-the-art amenities for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and tennis, and provide:
- A home for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and tennis
- New year-round locker rooms that will not be shared with opposing teams
- New lounges and meeting spaces in which teams can build camaraderie and trust
- Strength & Conditioning Area for on-site training and development
- Additional meeting space to host career networking nights with players and alumni
- Dedicated training space
Football Training Complex
The Football Training Complex is home to administrative and academic services, as well as training facilities for the football program. It will feature:
- State-of-the-art strength-training facility
- A larger lounge where student-athletes can study, relax, eat, and bond
- A larger, modernised locker room to comfortably fit the entire football team
- Upgraded training and hydrotherapy suite
R Big Ten Build Society
The R Big Ten Build Society recognises the leadership supporters of Rutgers Athletics’ three Big Ten Build facility projects – the Multisport Training Complex, the Lacrosse, Soccer, and Tennis Training Complex, and the Football Training Complex. Members of R Big Ten Build Society make commitments of $25,000 and above over the course of a five year period. These commitments are above and beyond priority seating annual donations and other athletic support. In recognition of their generosity, R Big Ten Build Society members gain access to an exclusive benefits program.
For more information about R B1G Build Society please contact the R Fund by phone at +1 (848) 932-7629 or email: email@example.com.
Images courtesy: Rutgers University