In an unprecedented move, Republican County
Commissioners Douglas Albrecht and Joseph Sileo voted to halt the building of the new
Rowan University Health and Behavioral Science Building on the Campus of Rowan
College of South Jersey – Vineland. The ten million dollar project, planned to bring
Rowan University School of Medicine Health and Behavioral Science medical trainees to
Cumberland County, was nixed at the Tuesday, July 26th
Commissioner Meeting when
Commissioner’s Albrecht and Sileo abstained on the motion to approve Ordinance 2022-06. The Ordinance would have allowed the County to move one million dollars in
unspent college construction funds to the project. The Ordinance required a two-thirds
majority yes vote. Democratic Commissioners Musso, Castellini, Pearson, and Barber all voted in the affirmative with the Ordinance failing 4-0-2.

The action forced the Board to vote on removing Resolution 2022-466 from the agenda. The Resolution, authorizing the Cumberland County Improvement Authority to provide
project management for the construction of the Health and Behavioral Science Building on the Campus of Rowan College of South Jersey – Vineland, was removed with
Republican Commissioners Douglas Albrecht and Joseph Sileo voting yes and Democrat
Commissioners abstaining.

‘This is a sad day for education in Cumberland County’ stated Commissioner Director
Darlene Barber. ‘The Health and Behavioral Science Building would be Rowan
University’s initial partnership with RCSJ-Cumberland to bring training doctors and
medical staff to Cumberland County to work hand in hand with Inspira Hospital creating
the final link of the ‘Eds and Meds’ Corridor planned over the last decade.’ The building,
funded in part by a two million dollar Rowan University Grant, would have brought
much needed services in the mental and behavioral science field, cited as one of the top
most needed services in Cumberland County.

Director Barber, past Superintendent of the Cumberland County Technical Center, stated
‘axing this project, a project basically handed to us with a majority paid with State
Chapter 30 funds and Rowan University’s Grant is truly one of my saddest days as a
county commissioner. To think all the time, effort and work between Rowan University,
RCSJ-Cumberland, The Authority and our administrative team would go down with one vote is unconscionable.’