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RCBC Appoints Architect for New Student Success Center and Finalizes Transition Plan to Modernize Mount Laurel

College transition map

The Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) Board of Trustees appointed USA Architects, Planners + Interior Designers to design its new Student Success Center and approved a transition plan to modernize the Mount Laurel campus at its meeting on Thursday.

“The reaction to our plans to create the ultimate campus experience in Mount Laurel has been overwhelming and the excitement continues to grow every day,” said RCBC President Paul Drayton. “We have an ambitious plan and a lot of work ahead of us that will be worth the effort for our students, staff, faculty and the communities we serve.”

USA Architects, Planners + Interior Designers, based in Somerville, New Jersey, plans and designs student-centric facilities that create a dynamic connection hub for meaningful engagement necessary for academic and career success. The new gateway facility presents an opportunity to create a focal point for the rebranding of the college, signifying the unification of its campuses.

They have completed projects for a number of colleges in the region including Temple University, Ocean County College and Rutgers University.

“There is a lot of excitement for the future of Rowan College at Burlington County and our team is looking forward to working with the college to provide an outstanding facility that will complete the transformation of Mount Laurel into a main campus,” said Paul R. Swartz, USA Architects’ Chief Executive Officer.

The Student Success Center is the only new building required as the college consolidates the majority of the Pemberton campus into Mount Laurel by 2017. It will be the centerpiece of the campus facing Route 38 and forming a quad with existing buildings. The campus has sufficient classroom space, but lacks large enough service areas to support an entire campus. The new center will include student success services, food court and dining, knowledge commons library, bookstore and the home of onsite four-year partners such as Rowan University.

“The Student Success Center will be the pulse of the campus,” Drayton said. “It will be a state-of-the-art destination for students and faculty to gather and collaborate with one goal in mind: a successful student experience.”

Other highlights include:

  • Division “colleges” with Liberal Arts in Laurel Hall, Science, Math and Technology in the TEC building and Health Sciences in the Briggs Road facility, which will be reoriented to face the rest of the campus.
  • The President’s office will be located in the Enterprise Center with other administrative offices and classrooms.
  • Arts programs will move to the Mount Holly center joining with Culinary Arts to create a cultural hub in the historic downtown district.
  • Public Safety and other administrative offices will occupy the former Incubators building.
  • Improved walkways and roadways, outdoor dining, and collaborative spaces to create more of a campus feeling.

Complete campus transformation plans and updates may be found at rcbc.edu/campus-transformation.

“President Drayton has a comprehensive plan to achieve the vision we all share for the future of Rowan College at Burlington County. Placing the college in one convenient location will reduce operating costs and increase access to high-quality affordable education in Burlington County,” Board Chair George Nyikita said. “The entire board is looking forward to seeing these dramatic changes very soon.”

Most classes will be moved from Pemberton by the start of the fall 2016 semester. The new building is scheduled to open in fall 2017, after which the entire staff will be transitioned to Mount Laurel by 2018.

The future site of athletics is being addressed in a separate plan to develop a world-class regional sports complex near the Mount Laurel campus. The college continues to work with potential partners to preserve access to aquatics in Pemberton.

The college has been working very closely with Burlington County Office of Economic Development, township officials and community leaders to determine a better reuse for the college’s original campus.

“We are very confident that there will be a bright future for the Pemberton campus that will benefit the entire community,” Drayton said. “We have received a number of inquiries about the property and now that we have determined our transition plan we will intensify our focus on the future of Pemberton.”

Pictured: A map details the plans that were approved at Thursday's Rowan College at Burlington County's Board of Trustees meeting to modernize the Mount Laurel campus.