Proclaiming it a “defining moment” that will revolutionize the city’s economy, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday offered a first look at Cornell University’s gleaming-new graduate school for applied sciences that will be built on Roosevelt Island.
“It will transform our economy,” the mayor declared at a press conference just 72 hours after Stanford University stunned City Hall by announcing it was dropping out of the yearlong competition to attract a premier engineering school that will serve as one of his administration’s enduring legacies.
Bloomberg described the proposal submitted by Cornell and its partner, Israel’s Technion, as “far and away the boldest and most ambitious.”
“Their proposal called for the most students, about 2,000 a year, the most faculty, about 300, and the most building space, over 2 million square feet,” he said.
Cornell announced last week that it had received a $350 million gift, the largest in its history, from an anonymous donor for the project.
That deep-pocketed donor was revealed yesterday as Charles Feeney, a Cornell alum who made billions as the founder of the Duty Free Stores.
Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., estimated that the number of engineering graduates here will increase by 85 percent once the campus is fully functional in 2037. Operations are scheduled to begin in leased space in September.
In addition to classrooms, labs and dorms, the $2 billion campus will includes “incubator space” for start-up companies and what was described as “spinout space” for commercial applications of research-and-development projects.
Cornell is also immediately establishing a $150 million fund for new tech ventures that agree to stay in the city for at least three years.
“History will write this was a game-changing time in New York City,” the mayor said at Cornell’s Upper East Side medical school.
Officials predicted that Cornell would eventually help generate 30,000 high-tech positions along with 20,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs at the school.
The 11-acre school is to be built on land now occupied by Goldwater Hospital, whose patients are to be moved to the former North General Hospital Harlem.
Cornell-Technion’s proposed graduate school for applied sciences
* Location: 11 acres on Roosevelt Island now occupied by Goldwater Hospital
* Total square feet: 2 million
* Completion date: 2037
* Permanent jobs: 8,000
* Temporary construction jobs: 20,000
* Jobs created from high-tech spinoffs, licenses and corporate growth: 30,000
SOURCE: NYC Mayor’s Office