NEWARK, DEL. — The University of Delaware (UD) has commenced the first phase of its master plan to redevelop the former Chrysler Assembly Plant in Newark. UD has selected San Francisco-based URS Corp. to manage the decommissioning and demolition of the plant in preparation for its redevelopment into a science and technology campus. URS plans to recycle approximately 95 percent of the construction waste from the demolition phase. A November 2011 completion is expected.

The Newark Assembly plant was closed in December 2008. In October 2009, UD purchased the 272-acre site, which is located near the south side of the school's campus, for $24 million.

Several plans have been proposed for the long-term redevelopment of the site. UD has a research and development partnership with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, and it envisions using part of the site for cooperative research purposes. The Delaware Health Sciences Alliance will also house several of its components at the site, and instruction and research space will be provided for the UD College of Health Sciences, the Jefferson Campus for Healthcare Education and the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute. Finally, the site's location adjacent to existing rail lines and transit stations could accommodate a transit-oriented project that would contain retail and residential space.

In a statement, UD President Patrick Harker said, “This land is an investment in our people and in our culture of innovation, partnership and excellence. Its proximity to our main campus will provide an invigorating entrepreneurial climate for faculty, researchers and students that will benefit the state and the region through the important discoveries, inventions and collaborations that will ultimately take place there.”

— Coleman Wood

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