Brad Penuel, Assistant Vice President for Health at NYU, Advocates for NYU 2031


Testimony of Kenneth Bradley (Brad) Penuel

Assistant Vice President for Health at New York University

Before the New York City Planning Commission

For the Public Hearing on The New York University Core Project

April 25, 2012


Good Afternoon Chair Burden and Fellow Planning Commissioners,

My name is Brad Penuel, Assistant Vice President for Health at New York University. First of all, thank you for your time and the opportunity to participate in this important process. I come to you today to speak in favor of the NYU 2031 core expansion plan.

As I am sure you have heard today from a number of speakers, NYU 2031 is a plan created to address the University’s growth not just in the Village, but City-wide. Central to this strategy is to co-locate complementary academic disciplines as it is our belief that these adjacencies enhance student learning, promote faculty collaborations, and spur interdisciplinary research. Today’s hearing has primarily focused on the NYU 2031 expansion plans for the Greenwich Village core. However, I would like to tell you a bit about the University’s activities and investments in another critical component of the plan, the development within the Health Corridor primarily along 1st Avenue in Manhattan between 23rd and 34th St. and how the principles of the 2031 plan are driving the process.

The Health Corridor is the primary home of the NYU Hospital Center, the School of Medicine (which provides many of the physicians for Bellevue Hospital and the VA), and the College of Dentistry. These facilities currently occupy approximately 5.8 million square feet and comprise over 50 buildings. Future growth in this area has been guided by the Health Corridor’s Campus Transformation Plan, and major developments are already underway including an expansion of Tisch Hospital, the construction of the Kimmel Pavilion (a new 800,000 square foot clinical facility), a new 300,000 square foot Science building, and an expansion of the Emergency Department.

Another critical new component of the NYU’s expansion in the Health Corridor is the redevelopment of the site at 433 1st Ave. Here we are constructing a new 170,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility for NYU's College of Nursing. The building will also provide expanded teaching and research space for the College of Dentistry, and include new research laboratory for a the emerging, university-wide Bioengineering Institute.

Importantly, this building will allow the entire College of Nursing to relocate to the Health Corridor from its current home in Washington Square. By moving the School of Nursing, we are creating opportunities for academic cross-pollination between the health sciences as well as freeing up space at the Washington Square Core Campus to allow for other academic needs. Relocating the College of Nursing to the Health Corridor is a win-win; it strengthens the existing health science disciplines already in the Health Corridor as well as allows for breathing room in the Core for other academic needs. These types of logical, win-win situations are exactly what the NYU 2031 plan attempts to achieve.

Anecdotally, and a good example of the type of growth that a university must take into account, is that when the planning for this building was begun, NYU did not have a Bio-engineering Institute as the field was relatively young. However, in keeping with one of the tenets of the NYU 2031 plan, the logical choice was made to include this emerging program within the new building due to its proximity to other health science departments.

It is just this type of emergence and fast paced growth we are planning for with NYU 2031. Certain fields such as science, education, humanities and the arts, we know will continue to grow based on past experience. However, other disciplines, such as Bioengineering, are nascent. At NYU we must plan for both, and through NYU 2031 we are. This new building is just the first example of how the NYU 2031 plan will guide NYU’s growth and allow it to keep pace with its varied academic programs.

I want to thank all of you for your time.