KSS Architects
Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum of Rowan University rendering

Rowan University breaks ground on a $73 million fossil park museum in Mantua Township, N.J.

Oct. 13, 2021
The facility will showcase dinosaurs, reptiles, sea turtles and crocodiles that once inhabited New Jersey's coastline.

Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., has broken ground on a $73 million fossil park museum.

The 44,000-square-foot, 65-acre Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum in Mantua Township will offer students and residents a chance to go back in time to discover fossils of prehistoric creatures that were once in the area, the university says in a news release. 

The museum is being designed as a net-zero building with a geothermal, water-source heating and cooling system and a photovoltaic solar field. 

It will sit above a four-acre former marl quarry where visitors can dig for 66-million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils. A portion of the park  has yielded more than 50,000 marine and terrestrial fossils, from mosasaurs to sea turtles, sharks, boney fish, coral and clams.

The museum will showcase dinosaurs, reptiles, sea turtles, crocodiles and other creatures that once inhabited New Jersey's coastline. 

In the lobby, guests will be welcomed by a skeletal figure of native creatures that were also a part of the state's habitat. 

Deeper inside the museum there will be a sea gallery that will showcase a Late Cretaceous and other sea creatures.

The Hall of Cretaceous Seas will feature a collection of marine recreations, including dozens by paleo sculptor Gary Staab. 

The Hall of Extinction & Hope will enable visitors to experience the demise of the dinosaurs, to immerse themselves in knowledge about the ongoing climate and biodiversity crises, and to explore a network of resources to take action about them.

“Discovery Forest” will feature hands-on learning stations and “Critter Cove” will contain sea and land animals with genetic connections to the site during the Late Cretaceous era. There will also be a Fossil Research Workshop, a virtual reality chamber, Café, museum store, paleo-themed playground and nature trails.

KSS Architects has designed the facility. 

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