New Brunswick mayor looks to continue close ties with Rutgers in run for re-election
New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill is running for reelection. He is a part of many of the current and future projects involving Rutgers and New Brunswick.
Since Rutgers is considered to be part of the New Brunswick community, Cahill mentioned some key ways that the city and the University can maintain a close relationship.
These include city officials visiting classes and interacting with students through discussion, students receiving employment and service opportunities through the city and students participating in extracurricular activities such as city cleanups, tutor mentoring and recreational sports.
“New Brunswick has a relationship with the University at large as well as personal relationships,” Cahill said.
Some more major projects that Rutgers and New Brunswick have partnered together to work on include the Good Neighbor Program, which improves community safety, community building and the Rutgers Bookstore. It was a partnership with the University, the city and the parking authority. A pedestrian bridge to the train makes this feature even more accommodating to the masses.
Cahill explained that even though the city did not directly partner with Rutgers for the construction of The Yard @ College Avenue and the Honors College, officials worked closely with the University and are very impressed by the outcomes.
As for the future, Cahill is looking forward to one project in particular.
“The Performing Arts Center is under construction currently, but will be completed in the Summer of 2019,” he said.
The Performing Arts Center will serve huge purposes toward not only the Mason Gross School of the Arts, but to the residents and visitors of New Brunswick as well, he said.
It will house two theaters, offices for the Middlesex County Art Institute, offices for the New Brunswick Cultural Center and more than 200 apartments. Cahill said that the apartments will be available to those with a lower income looking for housing.
One noteworthy project called the New Brunswick Parks Action Plan is underway as well. Jeanne Herb, associate director in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, is involved with the plan and explained its purpose and what it hopes to accomplish.
“The project, which was supported by Johnson & Johnson, was intended to provide the city, its residents, community leaders and city commissions with the information it needs to have a shared strategic plan for the city's parks,” Herb said.
New Brunswick is using a blueprint plan to help decide which parks need improvements, how many, to what degree and where specifically.
Cahill described some key features that may be included in the New Brunswick Parks Action Plan.
Buccleuch Park and Alice Jennings Archibald Park will be equipped with an outdoor fitness center that is roughly 40-by-40 feet in size. The facilities will include stainless steel fitness equipment that contributes to a variety of exercises for the whole body. There will even be an app that allows users to design personalized programs and track progress.
“The outdoor facility puts cardio and other exercise in one place. It is a socialization component,” Cahill said.
In regard to future collaborations with Rutgers and New Brunswick, Cahill has many ideas.
City officials meet several times a week with different people from Rutgers, Cahill said. There will continue to be student outreach programs, more promotion that pushes a healthier lifestyle throughout the city and collaboration with the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) and the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).
Cahill stressed how important it is for New Brunswick to have good relationships with the president, chancellor, deans, faculty members and even students.
“New Brunswick is always changing. Rutgers keeps New Brunswick youthful-minded with a set of fresh ideas," Cahill said.