Rutgers University–Camden Breaks Ground on Transformative $60 Million Project

Rutgers University–Camden commemorated a new beginning with a groundbreaking for the Cooper Street Gateway Project. This $60 million investment will transform 14 vacant historic properties and several empty lots along the 400 Block of Cooper and Lawrence Streets into a dynamic new facility for the university and the community.

“This project represents a substantial investment in the future of our institution, our students, and the people of Camden,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis to the guests and elected officials who gathered for the occasion.

“I want to thank the Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors, our colleagues, and our community partners for the work they have done to make this possible. We are lifting shovels today to officially launch this transformation of Cooper Street,” Chancellor Tillis said.

Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis and Lou Cappelli RLAW’87, Camden County Commissioner Director

Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis and Lou Cappelli RLAW’87, Camden County Commissioner Director

“This project represents a substantial investment in the future of our institution, our students, and the people of Camden”
Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis

(left to right) William Spearman SBC’86, New Jersey Assemblyman, Fifth Legislative District; William Tambussi, Esq., Member, Rutgers Board of Governors and Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors; Victor Carstarphen, Mayor, City of Camden; Walt MacDonald CCAS’74, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees and Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors; Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, Anthony Covington, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees and Vice Chair, Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors ; Jannette Ramos, Camden City Councilwoman; Lou Cappelli RLAW’87, Camden County Commissioner Director; Jim Rhodes CCAS’94, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees

(left to right) William Spearman SBC’86, New Jersey Assemblyman, Fifth Legislative District; William Tambussi, Esq., Member, Rutgers Board of Governors and Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors; Victor Carstarphen, Mayor, City of Camden; Walt MacDonald CCAS’74, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees and Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors; Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, Anthony Covington, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees and Vice Chair, Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors ; Jannette Ramos, Camden City Councilwoman; Lou Cappelli RLAW’87, Camden County Commissioner Director; Jim Rhodes CCAS’94, Member, Rutgers Board of Trustees

In addition to an enthusiastic crowd of faculty and staff, attendees included Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen; New Jersey Assemblymen Bill Spearman; Camden County Commissioner Lou Cappelli; Camden City Councilwoman Jannette Ramos; members of the Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors, including Vice Chair Anthony Covington, Bill Tambussi, and Walt MacDonald; Rutgers Board of Trustees member Jim Rhodes; and community members including Shellie Mason, president of the Cooper-Grant Neighborhood Association, and Rutgers–Camden alumnus Bishop Tyrone McCombs from the Tabernacle of Faith Church, located along Cooper Street in Camden.

The project will result in a three-story facility behind the original Cooper Street properties. It will also include a common outdoor space and the renovation of Lawrence Street homes into offices and guest accommodations for visiting faculty. The new facility will create a dedicated space for units within the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, currently housed in two separate campus buildings. It will also enrich the student experience and provide a new, modern gathering space for all Rutgers and Camden community members. 

Because the existing properties are located within Camden's Cooper Street Historic District, repair and retention of the properties' historic form will be paramount. All new construction will protect the integrity of historic buildings and the property setting, reflecting Rutgers–Camden's reverence for the rich history of Cooper Street and the City of Camden.

Cooper Street Gateway Project Renderings

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Design: Douglas Shelton
Photography: Ron Downes Jr.