Cornell University has won a bid to build an engineering campus in New York City, Bloomberg reported today.
The competition began in July when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg invited proposals for a campus for engineering and applied science. Bloomberg announced that Cornell won the competition — which featured proposals from 15 other schools, including Stanford and Columbia — during a press conference this afternoon, according to a statement from his office.
Ronald Ehrenberg, director of Cornell’s Higher Education Research Institute, told Bloomberg that the campus was crucial for tying the Ithaca, N.Y. university to America’s largest city. Cornell’s proposed campus will be 2 million square feet and house 2,000 students on Roosevelt Island, one of the land-grant properties offered by the city. Cornell’s medical school is already located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
“The trustees and the president have long wanted to have a bigger presence in New York City,” Ehrenberg said. “The notion that you can be a great international university in the 21st century if you’re located in rural upstate New York doesn’t work.”
A major factor to Cornell winning the competition was an anonymous $350 million gift made to the school, announced on Dec 16. Cornell may also receive as much as $100 million for infrastructure improvements on the island, according to Bloomberg.
“It is a tremendous boost in morale and recognition for Cornell,” said Yale’s Vice President of Development Inge Reichenbach, who held the same role at Cornell for a decade. “It is an amazing opportunity.”
As Cornell plans its expansion into the city, Yale is currently seeking a $500 million donation for the naming rights to West Campus, a roughly 6 million square foot property in West Haven, Conn.
Yale purchased West Campus from Bayer Pharmaceuticals for $107 million in 2007.