Date: June 30, 2015
From: NYU President John Sexton
Re: NYU's Plan for New Academic Facilities and Today's Court of Appeals Decision

Today's ruling by the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, in favor of NYU and the City of New York clears the way for us to proceed with the Coles project — a new mixed-use academic building will provide much-needed new, state-of-the-art classrooms (which will, in turn, permit us to continue the creation of new laboratory space within Silver); specialized educational, performance, and practice spaces for our performing arts programs; student housing (which will enable us to reduce reliance on costly leased student residence halls); faculty housing; and athletic and recreational facilities to replace Coles.

The project architects were selected last winter, and a construction manager for the project — Turner Construction — was selected this past spring. With the Court's ruling, we will now undertake intensive planning, and we will have more information on a timetable for the closing of Coles and construction in the coming months. We look forward to ongoing input from the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee — which is comprised of faculty, students, and administrative representatives — as we move forward.

There are some, both among our neighbors and within our own community, who have opposed this project. The concerns they raised illustrate the challenge that any institution faces when seeking to meet its space needs in a dense urban environment such as New York — it all but inevitably triggers contention.

However, through years of planning and consultation and approvals and reviews, NYU developed a plan that we believe is thoughtful, balanced, and respectful, and that permits NYU to meet its pressing space needs and sustain our academic momentum into the future. Today's ruling upholds the City’s approval of that plan and eliminates the threat to thousands of temporary green and recreational spaces across the state that would have accompanied a reversal by the Court of Appeals. We look forward to working with our neighbors and community as the project goes forward.