First Dedicated Science Facility for NYU in 30 Years

New York University today announced its plan to create a new science building on Waverly Place between Mercer and Greene Streets. The facility, which will be about 50,000 square feet, will house laboratories and related academic space for the life sciences, expanding the space for life sciences at Washington Square by approximately 30 percent. The University has engaged an architect for the project, Hillier Architecture, to begin work immediately on the design and construction of the new facility. The new facility will be the first NYU science building developed since the opening of Meyer Hall in 1971.

The development of this new science building is being done in conjunction with NYU’s Partners Fund initiative, which will expand science faculty at the Washington Square Campus by 20% over the next five years. This facility will house scholars participating in an NYU initiative in comparative functional genomics.

The new facility will be created through the gut rehabilitation of three existing NYU buildings: 12, 14 and 16 Waverly Place. The project will include the preservation of the original, existing facades.

In addition to the creation of the new facility, NYU has been renovating other space for life science research in the Brown Building within the University’s Silver Center. By fall 2005, three full floors of the building will have been renovated.

David McLaughlin, NYU’s Provost, said, “Modern science demands modern laboratory space. The new life sciences building on Waverly Place will provide the space required for strong faculty in genomics to initiate successfully NYU’s program in Comparative Functional Genomics. This genuinely interdisciplinary program is centered in biology at NYU, but includes members of the Department of Chemistry, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and the School of Medicine, as well as interaction with members of the Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Gardens, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.”

Richard Foley, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, said, “One of the distinctive beauties of The Partners Fund is that it enables us to advance the University’s arts and sciences core so quickly and concretely. The development of this science facility will be a crucial step in moving forward with our initiative in comparative functional genomics in particular, and the life sciences in general.” Peter Lennie, Dean for Science, said, “This facility will provide the much needed space we require to realize our ambitious plans for strengthening research in the life sciences.”

In selecting the Waverly Street location for the new facility, the University took a number of factors into consideration, including ease of construction, relocation of current occupants, proximity to existing science space, and community concerns.

Lynne Brown, Sr. Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs, said, “NYU confronts the same competition for space as every resident of Manhattan, made especially daunting by the demands of research and teaching. The choice of the existing university-owned Waverly site for its new life sciences building allows NYU to meet its core mission with minimal impact on the surrounding community.”

No architectural plans have yet been drawn. However, preliminary programming for the new space includes laboratories to house about 15 research groups.

The initiative in comparative functional genomics is one of several major science initiatives at NYU; others include an initiative in the area of soft condensed matter physics, and an initiative in computation called the Center for Computation in Science and Society at NYU, which is between the science departments, the medical school, the dental school, and the Courant Institute.

With over 600 faculty and 10,000 students, the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) is the largest academic unit of New York University. FAS consists of the undergraduate College of Arts and Science (CAS), the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS), and three disciplinary divisions: the Division of the Humanities, the Division of Science, and the Division of the Social Sciences. Founded in 1832, CAS formed the foundation of the university. GSAS was added in 1886, awarding the second earned doctorate in the United States.

New York University, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities. It is the largest private university in the US, and a member of the Association of American Universities; it attracts and recruits one of the largest groups of international students among US colleges and universities. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and dramatic arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.