Testimony of Albert Gentile
New York University
Before the New York City Planning Commission
For the Public Hearing on The New York University Core Project
Chair Burden and Commissioners:
Classrooms: NYU’s classrooms experience a very high degree of utilization--approximately 400 classrooms serve over 50,000 class attendees on a typical weekday. NYU’s older classroom stock is challenged by our ability to develop a set of classrooms whose size, lay-out, and technological capabilities match our pedagogical needs; and further, classrooms in upper floors of buildings have caused major delays in elevator traffic and ability for students to move around the facilities.
For that reason, a future plan to convert older manufacturing buildings to new science laboratory space is more compatible with the building layouts than successive classroom renovations. A series of renovations already conducted to transform classroom space to science have proven extremely successful.
In addition, the below-grade space on the northern superblock allows the creation of a highly specialized subterranean classroom and student annex space. Such space can accommodate the exact sizes and formats that are needed given the de novo quality of the space that can be built to maximize state-of-the art teaching requirements and technology.
Each semester we endeavor to insure that each class is scheduled in appropriate space that will meet the instructional needs of both the faculty and the students. As enrollment increases so do the challenges to achieving this goal. We also strive to make the most efficient and effective use of classroom space which is reflected in our utilization rates.
Our high demand and efficient utilization of classroom space can become problematic in the event that a building or series of classrooms would need to be taken off-line for a temporary period of time. If this were to occur unexpectedly the University’s lack of swing-space would make the relocation of classes virtually impossible. In addition to keeping pace with the growing demand for classroom space this issue underlines the need to plan for an increase in the University’s classroom inventory.