May gain a friend soon

May gain a friend soon

Bloomberg’s recent proposal that aims to lure top engineering universities around the world to New York with a pledge of $100 million to be put towards a new campus (either on Governor’s Island, Roosevelt Island, or the Brooklyn Navy Yard) has universities across the country scrambling to send in their applications.  Big names that have expressed interest include Stanford, Cornell, and NYU, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that today, PrezBo has officially thrown Columbia’s hat into the ring. That being said, with the proposals due tomorrow, our administrators certainly didn’t leave much margin for error.

Some major points touched on within the proposal (PDF):

  • Columbia will build or renovate another 3 buildings on the Manhattanville Campus, adding 1.1 million additional square feet, which will make up the new “Institute of Data Sciences and Engineering.”
  • The Institute will consist of five specialized interdisciplinary research centers: U.S. and New Media Center, Smart Cities Center, Health Analytics Center, Cybersecurity Center, and Financial Analytics Center.
  • Since Columbia already has the necessary building permits, the project is “more than shovel ready”—a boon for Columbia, given Bloomberg’s goal of having the campus open by 2015.
  • Phase I of construction: By 2020, Columbia will have completed the construction of a 443,000 sq ft facility, housing 40 new faculty and 600 grad students. By 2022, there will be a total of 72 new faculty and 1,080 new grad students.
  • Phase II will be completed by 2032, and involves renovating a 220,000 sq ft building to house 20 more faculty and 300 grad students, and building a 520,000 sq ft building for another 75 faculty and 1,125 grad students.

Noticeably, the Columbia proposal contrasts from the others in that it only adds to the current Manhattanville expansion plans, rather than utilizing any of the sites Bloomberg has proposed. The administration seems to be hoping Bloomberg will be pleased at not having to donate city land to the expansion, but we’ll have to wait and see. And given Bloomberg’s recent statements on the institute, he may end up spreading the love to multiple universities anyways.

Engineer via Wikimedia Commons