Gov. Phil Murphy, Mayor Jim Cahill, RWJ Barnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky, and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the state’s first free-standing cancer hospital.
Also in attendance is Board of Middlesex County Commissioners Director Ronald Rios, Rutgers Chancellor Brian Strom, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director Dr. Steven Libutti and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Board of Directors Chairman Jack Morris.
The 12-story, 510,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center for cancer treatment and research will be located in a state that typically ranks in the top 10 in the incidence of the disease and in which some 53,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
Gov. Murphy briefly referenced his own brush with cancer – the removal of a cancerous tumor from his left kidney in March 2020 – as he spoke about bringing the best in research, innovation and cancer care to bear in New Brunswick.
The cancer hospital is the centerpiece in a sweeping $750 million project that also includes a 900-lot parking garage that will serve the hospital and a $55 million school.
To accommodate the cancer hospital, the Lincoln Annex school was sold by the Board of Education and razed this spring. A new replacement school that will be paid for by RWJ Barnabas Health will be built on Jersey Avenue: the Blanquita B. Valenti Community School is scheduled to be completed by fall of 2023.
“We will pursue the mission so that you will be proud of the fact that you are supporting us, that you are interested in that which we are doing and we will honor the hospitalities of our city, our county and our state in order to make a difference in more people’s lives,” Barry Ostrowsky said.