Statement of Janice Quinn
Senior Associate Director for Athletics,
New York University
Before Community Board 2, Manhattan,
For the New York University Core Project
My name is Janice Quinn and I live on Washington Square North. I have been a proud resident of the Washington Square/Greenwich Village community for 31 years.
I am the Senior Associate Director for Athletics at New York University and I have worked for NYU for 26 years, most of that time spent in my former role as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach.
I have also been a young undergraduate student in this community, a dog owner, an alternative side of the street parker, a coach whose success was a product of being able to recruit new students to this Greenwich Village neighborhood, a master’s student and I hope, a good neighbor.
I have a very strong connection and very fond feelings for this great community.
When the women’s basketball team won the 1997 national championship, the way in which this community embraced my team was so wonderfully NYC and so wonderfully small town at the same time.
So, thank you for the opportunity to speak as a resident of this community.
Very simply, I’m here today in support of what I believe is NYU’s thoughtful and responsible approach to enhance its facilities and our collective use of space in the Washington Square area.
As a former student, I experienced firsthand the overcrowding from too few classrooms or space even to meet with faculty members – this in stark contrast to what I observed at the Ivy League schools my siblings attended. It was, and still is, a common occurrence to take 20 minutes or more from arriving in the lobby of Main building, to actually reach a classroom 9 floors up – sometimes having to wait for 4 elevators before your place in the queue comes up.
As a coach and athletic administrator, I experience the stark lack of adequate recreation, competition and free-play space, or even air conditioning and windows.
As a resident of this community, I experience every day the lack of adequate open space – or the simple pleasure of being able to find a bench anywhere outside Washington Square Park.
I treasure the historic preservation of our community’s rich history. I welcome the sophisticated and elegant way in which NYU can enhance our community while respecting the history, the culture, and the flavor of Greenwich Village.
The very building that I have called home professionally for 26 years would be replaced in these plans, and of course before replacement, comes displacement, and yet I know I speak for many of my colleagues when I say we welcome the opportunity to add space.
Our reality is the lack of even the most minimal office space; at the Coles Center, we sometimes squeeze 5 coaches in an office fit for one, some of which we’ve converted from closets. Between Coles and the Palladium more than 1 million users, students, faculty, fans, community members, and visitors come into our facilities each year: our community needs recreational space!
I walk through the Washington Square Village strip from W.3rd to Bleecker every morning, adjacent to unseemly 5 ft high cement walls on either side – the notion that this space could become an accessible, beautiful, green, part of our community is an exciting one; having this usable open green space adjacent and so near the recreation center that serves so many just makes sense!
I welcome NYU, as a vibrant member of this community, to use its resources to improve our neighborhood, while keeping our corner of the universe the unique and treasured space it is.
Janice M. Quinn
Senior Associate Director for Athletics
New York University