Just what Princeton’s new hospital might look like will be revealed on Monday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m., when the University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) is scheduled to speak at the Plainsboro Township planning board meeting in the municipal complex at 641 Plainsboro Road (609-799-0909).

If built as proposed, the hospital, medical offices, restaurants, and shops will be under one roof, connected through a multi-level central concourse, with views to the Millstone River. It will have 268 beds, all in private rooms. (The old facility theoretically contains 19 more beds, but many of its rooms were planned as doubles and are being used as singles.) The staff size of 2,550 workers would not change.

The nine-story main building, constructed of brick and glass, would have 636,000 square feet in the first phase and 960,000 square feet in the second phase. The medical office building would start out with 120,000 square feet and could double in size. It would sit just off of Route 1 north on FMC’s current site, which has 158 acres on both sides of Plainsboro Road. The emergency room would be accessible from Route 1 north, and there would be an additional entrance from Plainsboro Road. When fully built out, the hospital and the medical center will have 2,528 parking spaces.

The new UMCP will be able to incorporate the latest technology, says Hillier’s Colin Mosher, a 1992 graduate of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and a design architect on the project. The new operating rooms will be much larger to accommodate robotic equipment; they will be surrounded with administrative offices so that, if even more room is needed in the future, expansion would be relatively easy.

Thanks to specialty-based “patient centered portals of care,” patients will always return to the same area of the hospital, and people there will know them. There will be centers for cancer, cardiology, surgery, women’s health, and ambulatory medicine.

The plan can be expected to tie the campus to the surrounding community and stress sustainable design strategies, such as restoring the wetlands along the Millstone River. Some of the current FMC buildings will be left standing.

Also proposed: research sites, a 25-acre park, affordable housing, and a continuing care retirement center with age-restricted housing.

Says Mosher: “It will be a wonderful asset to Plainsboro and Princeton, and more accessible than ever before — a place for gathering, for learning, a place to go not only when you are sick and but also when you are well.”

New Jersey could use some new facilities: It is fifth in the nation in an undesirable ranking: the age of its hospitals. From 1976 to 2004, no new hospitals were built.

Yet all 83 hospitals that currently operate in the state have undergone some renovation or expansion in recent years, according to New Jersey Hospital Association spokesperson Ron Czajkowski, and both Jersey City Medical Center and South Jersey Healthcare in Cumberland County put up new buildings in 2004. If Princeton’s application is approved, it will be the third hospital in New Jersey to be built from the ground up in the past three years.

Hillier, based on Alexander Road and the largest architectural firm in New Jersey, is on a joint venture team with HOK, a global firm with 24 offices worldwide. Hillier’s recent healthcare projects include the 175,000-square foot Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick, the 200,000 square-foot UMDNJ Cancer Center in Newark, a 1,050,000-foot hospital in Singapore, the student health center at Penn State, and the Good Samaritan hospital in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Earlier this month it won a smart growth award for the adaptive reuse of the UMCP’s current building. It has been working with UMCP for 20 years.

HOK’s projects include the consolidation of 32 patient service locations on the Washington University campus to create two zones — outpatient and inpatient — for the Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. For the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, it did an inpatient pavilion and ambulatory care facility that was intended to “create a revolution in the delivery of health care designed from the patient’s point of view.”

HOK also did work on New York Presbyterian Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, University of Nebraska Health System in Omaha, and Toronto General Hospital in Toronto. Most recently it designed a 1.5 million square foot Los Angeles/USC Medical Center, as yet unbuilt.

If the experience of the other two new hospitals is any indication, the approval process will be long and costly, says Czajkowski. “It went on forever, seemingly. That’s just the nature of the regulatory beast. In New Jersey, if you want to open a new hospital, or close an existing facility, you go through an enormous state-required process to get the necessary permission to do that.”

College Financing

When it comes to success in life, it does not depend on what school your child goes to, insists Walter Krieg of College Assistance Plus, a college finance consulting firm formed at Research Park. “It’s the kid,” says Krieg.

He cites a Mellon Foundation study that tracked the earnings of students accepted at Ivy League colleges. For those who chose to attend the Ivy League school, and those who chose another school — the earnings were statistically identical.

“Yes, it’s nice to have some contacts,” says Krieg, whose own career path went from studies at St. Peter’s College, to work as a chemist, to the “alchemist” in the downtown Princeton restaurant he co-founded, to subsequent work in computers and the Internet. “Some places would rather just hire someone from Stanford or Princeton if it can get them. But going to other schools doesn’t rule out thousands of top jobs. Don’t get in a dither if you won’t get to say, at a party, that your son went to Princeton.”

“We say, there are probably 50,000 seats in the schools you want to get into, but there are millions of jobs, so what are you worried about? If someone really needs to get an Ivy education,” says Krieg, “there is always graduate school.”

Krieg and his cohorts try to match the quality, interests, and talents of the students with the economics of the families. “We want to work with people from before they choose the colleges, from either a tax point of view, or a financial aid point of view,” says Krieg.

They hold free seminars for groups of any size, and when they sign up a client they charge a one-time “for forever” fee of $1,750 for these services:

Creating a financial analysis and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) guide to help the family understand how their assets affect their potential for student aid and to prevent errors in filing the FAFSA form.

“We look at the assets, run them through our data base, and come back with suggestions on how to lower the expected financial contribution,” says Krieg. “If they have monies in mutual funds, for instance, that will show up on the financial aid form. They should talk to a financial advisor about moving that money into a tax deferred account or to an annuity, which does not show up on the form.” If a client does not have a financial advisor, Krieg often refers them to Irv Urken, the former hardware store owner turned financial advisor.

Creating a preliminary college recommendation directory based on criteria supplied by the family and the student. “We do the level setting, so they are comfortable with who they are and what they can afford,” says Krieg. “

His database has more than 2,500 colleges and draws information feed from 25 different organizations, including Reuters and Petersons.

If you are going to be a low-salaried professional such as librarian, you would be ill-advised, says Krieg, to borrow $100,000 for your education, because that loan will cost you $867 a month for 20 years.

“If you have an interest in art as a major, we don’t recommend you going to an art school unless you are very sure you will stick with it, because 50 percent of students change majors.”

Supplying SAT and ACT practice tests to get the student ready for standardized exams. “We give them free software and tell them to take the tests often,” he says. In contrast, Princeton Review charges $100 a session.

Building a bound Personalized College Needs Analysis Report with all of the above, plus questions to ask school interviewers and information on each college’s financial programs.

Krieg takes a jaundiced view of college marketers, who he claims control 75 percent of the colleges and spend money on what will attract students. For instance, the University of Cincinnati has a rafter river and a 40-person climbing wall. “That’s edu-tainment,” he says. “And some of them make a game of how many they turn down.”

Meeting with the family for a personal review session.

Review and compare financial aid packages offered by the accepting colleges. Where appropriate, explore the possibility of appealing the packages.

DON’T automatically sign the financial aid papers when you get them, he says, pointing out that the formula is based on income and does not allow for New Jersey’s cost of living or for debt. “If you live in Flemington on $60,000, you would need $71,000 in Princeton or $47,000 in Scranton.”

Plan for sophomore year financial aid.

Krieg emphasizes that he doesn’t do the students’ work. “The parents and the kids get to select their own direction, get to know the financial counselors and admissions counselors. They make the visits, they meet the people in the departments, they write the letters. I do not write a letter and I do not give them an outline for the letter.”

If the fee sounds high, he says, consider the costs of switching schools, which 25 percent of students end up doing. “That’s expensive,” he says. Taking a long time to finish can also be costly. Of students who enter as full-time freshman this year, less than 50 percent of them will finish in four years.

Krieg grew up in Newark, and his father, a flooring company representative, died when he was six years old. He had two younger sisters, neither of whom went to college, but he managed to get to St. Peter’s College, where he majored in chemistry, obtain a master’s degree from Rutgers, and do the course work for his PhD. He wrote a curriculum to train educationally deprived but promising students to be lab technicians, and he accepted an invitation to teach the course in Newark.

Then he and some partners (including his cousin, a lawyer) opened the Alchemist & Barrister restaurant on Witherspoon Street, which he calls “a way of setting up a social security policy of my own.”

After working for National Starch & Chemical, he went back to school, this time to the College of New Jersey, with a double major in math and science, in order to get into the computer field. He was an adjunct professor there while also working for big companies such as OrthoPharmaceutical and AT&T. In 1995 he opened InfoFirst, which does website and E-marketing, usage tracking and analysis, website E-commerce, and online training.

Two years ago, when the trend to outsourcing began eating into the business of InfoFirst, Krieg and his partner began to plan for the eventual demise of InfoFirst. His partner, Simon Blackwell, is still full time with InfoFirst. Krieg is part-time. The classroom where he formerly taught website traffic analysis is now used for parents’ meetings.

Krieg and his wife, Holly Bull, have daughters at the Waldorf School and at Stuart School. Bull heads the Center for Interim Programs, the firm founded by her father, the late Cornelius Bull, in 1980. Her center puts together “gap year” arrangements, mostly for students who want to take off a year after high school, sometimes to “find themselves,” and sometimes to engage in an activity that will enhance their next college application. “When we started to advise people who were coming out of the gap year, we did research on college costs,” says Krieg. “That’s how I got caught up in it.

In summary, says Krieg: “The best school is one that really wants the students, and that the students want to do some of the things that school teaches, and that they can afford each other.”

College Assistance Plus of Princeton, 8 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-917-6000; fax, 609-683-3802. Walter Krieg. Home page: www.caplusprinceton.com

Management Move

Historic Rockingham/The Rockingham Association, Laurel Avenue, Box 496, Kingston 08528-0496; 609-683-7132; fax, 609-683-7136. Lisa Flick, curator. Home page: www.rockingham.net

Lisa Flick is the new curator at Historic Rockingham, replacing Margaret Carlson, senior historian. Flick had been the historian at Allaire State Historic Site, and her training was with 19th century house museums and Colonial Williamsburg.

Rockingham, a New Jersey historic site, is the historic home of farmer and New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Berrien, and the former headquarters for George Washington.

The site will hold guided tours during its annual holiday candlelight open house on Sunday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are suggested; call 609-683-7136. A $5 donation will be requested.


Guy A. McCormick, 56, on November 8 at the University of Pennsylvania of complications from heart surgery. He was director of U.S. accounting policies for Rhodia Inc.

Virginia A. Meissner, 67, on November 12. She had worked for Walker Gordon Farms and Dataram.

Stacy C. Swanson, 44, on November 16, of cancer. She had worked at Highlands Insurance and American Re-Insurance.

William W. “Bill” Bennett, 80, on November 17. He had been the circulation manager for the Princeton Packet.

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