New Learning Center Planned For Jameson Complex at Rutgers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Construction is expected to begin this summer on a new 20,000 square foot "learning center" adjacent to the Jameson dormitories on Jones Avenue.

The Global Village Learning Center will include both classrooms and student housing to serve the Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University.

The center will house 37 Douglass students, as well as a large meeting room aimed at "offering students a supportive living-learning environment."

The estimated price tag for the new building is $11.5 million, $4.6 million of which came from private donations, and the remaining $6.9 million funded by the university.

"We are proud that the Douglass Residential College has become the national model for women's education at a major public university," said Rutgers President Robert Barchi.  "This project will add to that success and supplement the existing programming for students, alumnae, and others at Douglass."

Officials say the center will be a "living and learning" community for students at Douglass, the university's historic women's college.

The project will provides opportunities for students from different cultures to interact with one another, according to a university news release.

Residents and visitors can gain language skills, develop a sense of community, and appreciate other cultures.  Classes would be combined with extracurricular activities that reinforce one another.

The Global Village project consists of eleven "houses," three of which are new for the 2015-2016 school year.  Many of the houses have existed for years, however.

Two of the houses–the Africana House and East Asian House–are cultural houses, oriented around cultures of specific parts of the world.

Two "language" houses, La Maison Francaise and La Casa Hispanica,  have a similar mission with an added focus on certain languages.

Four "special interest" houses are also on the list: the Human Rights House, the Leadership (LEAD) House, the Women and Creativity House, and the Women and Public Health House.

Finally, there are the three new houses planned: the Women, Media, and Tech House, the Women and Global Education House, and the Sexualities House.

The public health, global education, and sexualities houses are already fully booked, according to the university.

The learning center is set to open in 2016, as Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Richard Edwards noted, "in time for the 250th anniversary of Rutgers University and just before the centennial of Douglass in 2018."