City’s colleges expand to take in new generation of top students

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By Ivan Pereira

With more than 671,000 students attending the city’s top colleges and grad schools each year, local campuses are working hard to make room for them.

Almost every major university in Manhattan is expanding their campuses over the next few years. They’re getting major backing from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city’s Economic Development Corporation, who have been working to make the city a leading education center.

“We’ve made key investments over the past year to establish or expand a number of world-class institutions in the city,” an EDC spokesman said in a statement.

Here’s a breakdown of the expansion plans for Manhattan schools:

Cornell Tech

On Monday, administrators for Cornell’s tech school will submit new plans to the city for its 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island that is slated to have its first graduate classes in 2017 and fully open in 2037.

The school, which will teach 600 graduate students from around the world, will be on the southern half of the island and have a grand view of the Manhattan skyline. The first of many buildings will be a four-story, 150,000-square-foot site that will house six classrooms.

During the next 25 years, more modernly designed buildings, including a hotel and state of the art computer lab, are expected to fill the space, along with a large, open air quad that could be used for graduations and presentations.

Dan Huttenlocher, the dean of the tech campus, said the school will develop academic programs to teach students in the modern environment.

Along with academic advisers, each student will have a mentor who works for a city tech company.

“That is the great thing about New York City, with its density and transportation,” Huttenlocher said. “Those mentors can come in and meet with the students easily.”


Administrators at the Greenwich Village institution have been working to enlarge their academic space for years, despite a large outcry from the community.

Over the summer, the City Council gave the go-ahead for NYU to build dorms, classrooms and offices south of the Washington Square Park campus, which the school says is becoming too packed.

“What our planning recognizes is all the space we need over the space of two decades, which will be 6 million square feet, cannot be accommodated in the ,” NYU spokesman John Beckman said.

New dorms will go up in an area surrounded by Bleecker Street, Houston Street, Mercer Street and LaGuardia Place.

Additional academic buildings will be built one block north.

Some village residents have said the expansion, which is expected to cost close to $3 billion, encroaches too much on their streets. But Beckman reassured that the school’s plans wouldn’t affect their quality of life.

“This plan doesn’t anticipate a larger student body,” he said.

Columbia University

The Ivy League school is conducting a revitalization of a former industrial site north of its Morningside Heights campus. One of the biggest facilities to be built at the new site is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.

When it opens its doors in four years, the center will be home to the school’s Mind Brain Behavior Initiative, which aims to bring the best and brightest in neuroscience to the school.

Other buildings will add to the university’s business and science schools.

“Later phases of the Manhattanville campus plan will emphasize interdisciplinary scholarship — including biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, systems biology, and urban and population studies — as well as housing for graduate students and faculty,” Columbia spokeswoman Victoria Benitez said.


Fordham University is nearly done with the first phase of its Lincoln Center campus expansion. The school chose to expand its law and business schools without acquiring more land outside of the school grounds.

By 2014, Fordham will have a new building for its law school, more open space and more dorms. By 2032, it will expand the space for its business school, social science buildings and underground parking.

Other schools:

Although the student populations at Hunter College and Lehman College aren’t as large as those at NYU, Columbia and Fordham, those campuses are also expanding to accommodate current academic needs.

Last month, the city announced that Hunter and Sloan Kettering Memorial Center would share a building on a 66,000-square-foot site for the school’s applied science and nursing programs. Currently, nursing students take their classes nearly 60 blocks south of the main Upper East Side campus.

On Friday, Lehman officially unveiled its $70-million science building, aimed at teaching students the latest advances in technology.

“With the opening of this extraordinary science facility . . . faculty and students will be uniquely positioned to contribute their substantial talents, dedication, and rigor to both the dissemination and creation of knowledge,” CUNY Matthew Chancellor said.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 6:14 pm and is filed under amNewYork, Education, Feature, Politics, Print Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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