By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Officials broke ground on another major project within the city of Camden, this one on the educational and medical front.

The word joint in Joint Health Science Center isn’t about anything in your body, but it could be. Rather, it’s a collaboration of Rutgers and Rowan Universities, as well as Camden County College. They’ll all share space in the new structure set near Cooper Hospital and two medical schools.

Gov. Chris Christie says that’s part of the plan.

“This 95,000 square foot facility will help to strengthen and elevate medical education in our state and particularly here in South Jersey,” the governor told reporters and over 100 guests in attendance for the groundbreaking. “We want to ensure that our residents have continued access to well trained doctors as well as other health care professionals, and encouraging those doctors to put down their roots here in New Jersey and stay here.”

img 3370 Groundbreaking For New Health Training Center in Camden, Run By Competing Universities

Governor Chris Christie (Credit: David Madden)

To be candid, when Rutgers and Rowan were joined at the academic hip on this project three years ago, there were doubts this collaboration would work.

But former state House Speaker Jack Collins, who now chairs the board that’ll run the center, credits the presidents of Rowan and Rutgers for checking egos at the door.

“They have led this opportunity to bring together all of the entities,” Collins told KYW Newsradio. “They have done a greater job and there hasn’t been that problem which I also anticipated.”

img 3369 Groundbreaking For New Health Training Center in Camden, Run By Competing Universities

Former state house speaker Jack Collins. (credit: David Madden)

The project is expected to provide a $72 million annual bump to Camden’s economy when it’s up and running in the spring of 2019.