Article from the Ithaca Journal regarding Cornell's construction projects.
Cornell construction has cranes roosting
Law school expansion, Tech campus part of building boom
7:46 PM, Jan 28, 2013
ITHACA — As the spring semester begins, Cornell students have returned to a campus with several major construction projects either recently wrapped or still in progress.
Law School expansion
The law school expansion project broke ground in June. The expansion consists of three phases: new classrooms built under the east lawn; renovations to Myron Taylor Hall; and renovation of Hughes Hall.
The expansion will increase the law school area by approximately 43,325 square feet, to a total of 265,090 square feet. Construction of phase one is scheduled to be completed in December.
The expansion will increase program space without affecting the historic courtyard in any significant way, according to university architect Gilbert Delgado. Classrooms will look out onto the courtyard directly, adding “vitality” to the area.
“It will be a terrific plus for the law school in terms of (being) a great common public space,” he said.
In March, construction began on Gates Hall, which will house the Department of Computer and Information Science. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $25 million toward the $60 million project, which is at the corner of Hoy and Campus roads.
Once finished, it will have an exterior skin of perforated stainless steel panels that will give the building a textured look. More than a third of the building will be dedicated to research and teaching labs.
“It’s a very significant piece of architecture on our campus,” Delgado said. “It has a very dramatic presence.”
The university has accelerated construction so that the building would be completed by December, with the Information Science department, moving in by January 2014.
Work continues on the $105 million renovation and expansion of Stocking Hall, Cornell’s Food Science facility.
The diary plant portion is nearly complete, with milk tanks, conveyor belts and an automatic bottling system already in place. The fully functional dairy plant will allow students to gain hands-on experience while producing pudding, yogurt, Big Red Cheddar cheese and the university’s much-loved ice cream, which will be sold at the newly renovated Dairy Bar.
The bar is expected to be open by commencement in the spring, with the entire renovation and expansion finished in August 2014.
Teaching Dairy Barn
After five years of planning and construction, the university’s new Teaching Dairy Barn is up and running. The facility, just off Dryden Road in the Town of Ithaca, is a sleek and modern building that houses approximately 90 cows, with the capacity to hold 60 more for milking and an additional 30 dry cows, as well as 30 calves.
“That’s an interesting example of a pretty mundane building type being elevated as a gateway to the campus,” Delgado said.
The Teaching Dairy Barn is a joint effort between Cornell’s veterinary college and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It is the first building in a projected Large Animal Teaching Complex, which will also include a multipurpose teaching arena, an equine metabolism unit and additional pasture areas.
In late August, the university began installing steel-mesh nets on seven of its bridges: Stone Arch Bridge, Trolley Bridge, Thurston Avenue Bridge, Beebe Dam Bridge, the suspension bridge over Fall Creek and both Stewart Avenue bridges.
Plans for the nets began after three Cornell students committed suicide by jumping into the gorges within a month of each other in spring 2010. Temporary chain-link fences were erected and then replaced with black fencing.
The nets have been installed, as have infrared cameras that will detect if any objects are caught in the nets, and last week workers began removing scaffolding from the bridges.
Cornell’s ongoing construction projects are not limited to East Hill. A year ago, the university partnered with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology with the goal of building a tech campus in New York City.
A plan for the campus, scheduled to be built on Roosevelt Island, recently received approval from Manhattan Community Board 8. The plan will next be reviewed by the Manhattan Borough President, followed by the City Planning Commission and City Council.
The 12-acre Roosevelt Island campus is slated to open in 2017, with full build-out in 2037. Demolition of existing buildings is expected to begin in 2014. In the meantime, a temporary campus has been opened in Chelsea with building space provided by Google. The first “beta” class of tech students will arrive in January.
Delgado said the schematic design for the campus would soon be finished and will be unveiled to the public in March.
“It’s been a dynamic and exciting year, especially with NYC Tech being part of the mix,” he said. “We’re eager to realize these visions in the next year.”
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