City Council Approves Proposed Expansion in Manhattanville
December 19, 2007
Dear fellow member of the Columbia community:
I am very happy to say that this evening by a favorable
vote of the New York City Council the way has been cleared for Columbia to
pursue building a new campus in the seventeen-acre area known as Manhattanville
in West Harlem. Few among us can have escaped knowing, at least in general
outline, the idea of a new campus in this area just north of the Morningside
Heights campus. I will not, accordingly, belabor this announcement with any
detail. But, just to give a sense of the importance of what the City's process
has now permitted, we should bear in mind that, when the University assembled
in 1896 to lay the first cornerstones for the new campus on Morningside
Heights, it dedicated a space of roughly the same size as Manhattanville.
To reach this milestone we have participated in a very
rigorous review process with our City, which has involved the efforts of
hundreds of people, among them our neighbors in Harlem, government officials,
elected representatives, and members of our own community of faculty, students,
staff, and alumni. Now, after five years and innumerable discussions,
negotiations, plans, documents, hearings, and votes, we have arrived at a
significant turning point on the matter of space for the University to
grow--for our generation, I should add, as well as the next.
Our new campus, which will meet the highest standards of
architectural and urban design, and environmental sustainability, will house
our schools and academic programs, as well as provide over 800 units for
faculty and graduate housing. The long-term opportunities for Columbia and the
people who live and work in our community and our City are barely imaginable to
us at this early moment. Perhaps what we can best say at this point is that the
course of knowledge will be our guide.
At the beginning of next semester, I will offer more
information about and proposals for where we go from here. For now, my deepest
thanks to everyone involved in bringing this to fruition.
Lee C. Bollinger