Faculty-led Group Recommends Building on Coles Sites But Proposes Changes to University’s Plans.

Photo: Classrooms

The NYU University Space Priorities Working Group – which has been reviewing the plans approved by the New York City Council for NYU’s proposed expansion near Washington Square for over 18 months – today issued a final report to the NYU community. The report found that the University has an urgent need for additional space near its core, and – while offering important changes to the University’s proposals -- recommended that NYU should proceed with a building on the site of the current Coles Sports Center. The Working Group also found that NYU financial planning assumptions were reasonable, prudent, and within the University’s means.

In addition, the Group recommended improved stewardship by the University of the land and buildings in the Core area in order to enhance the neighborhood’s quality of life, and cited the need for ongoing faculty participation as any project moves forward through a Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee.

The 26-member Working Group has 20 faculty members, including two representatives from NYU’s Faculty Senators Council, as well as two student senators, two representatives from the Administrative Management Council, and two members of the University’s administration. The Working Group was chaired by Ted Magder, an Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in NYU’s Steinhardt School and the former chair of the Faculty Senators Council. The Working Group focused only on the plans for the south block, because any construction that might take place on north block could not occur before 2022.

Professor Magder said, “The Working Group’s recommendations give priority to academic space, will advance the University’s academic mission, and will improve the learning community of students and faculty at NYU. As both chair of this group and a longtime resident of Washington Square Village, I am confident that this report addresses the concerns of local residents and will improve the long-term quality of life in the neighborhood. ”

Citing the University’s need for space and its obligation to provide adequate space for its students’ educational purposes, the Working Group’s Final Report recommended the University redevelop the Coles Sports Center site to provide for the following:

  • At least 80 classrooms, ranging in size from small seminar rooms to large lecture halls
  • One large theater and four workshop theaters, as well as other specialized academic spaces for the performing arts
  • Dedicated student study and student life spaces
  • A new athletic and recreation center, which includes an assembly facility for community emergencies
  • Residence halls to accommodate up to 500 freshman students
  • Housing for roughly 100 NYU faculty families

The Working Group also concluded that the University’s Capital Spending and Financing Plan is based on reasonably conservative and prudent assumptions, and that their recommendations for construction on the Coles Site are within NYU’s current fiscal means. The Group also cautioned that University should not adjust future tuition, fees, or salary assumptions to cover capital costs.

Professor Magder continued, “I am hopeful that our process of transparency and consultation offers a new model for University-wide deliberative and advisory bodies in the future.”

The Working Group included:

Ted Magder,
Associate Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

John Billings (fall 2012–spring 2013),
Associate Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Mary Cowman,
Associate Provost for Program, Planning and Development; Professor, Polytechnic School of Engineering
David Engel, Chair, Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science
Allyson Green (Chair, Space Subcommittee),
Associate Dean, Institute of Performing Arts; Associate Arts Professor, Tisch School of the Arts
Wen-Jui Han, Professor, Silver School of Social Work
James Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor, School of Law
Perri Klass, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science
Martin Kurth, Assistant Curator and Department Director, Division of Libraries
Laurence Maslon (Chair, Stewardship and Quality of Life Subcommittee),
Arts Professor, Tisch School of the Arts
Panos Mavromatis,
Associate Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
J. Anthony Movshon, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science; Director, Center for Neural Science
Anthony Saunders, John M. Schiff Professor, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Rosemary Scanlon, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Andrew Schotter, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science
Jalal Shatah, Professor, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Dennis Smith (fall 2013-2014),
Associate Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Matthew Stanley, Associate Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Lawrence White (Chair, Finance Subcommittee),
Robert Kavesh Professor, Stern School of Business

Sewin Chan (2013–2014),
Associate Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Rajeev Dehejia (fall 2012),
Associate Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Angela Kamer, Associate Professor, College of Dentistry

Barbara Albrecht,
Director of Facilities and Administrative Services, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
David Vintinner, Senior Director of Institutional Research, Faculty of Arts and Science

Corey Blay,
Graduate Student, Stern School of Business / Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Mariam Ehrari, Undergraduate Student, College of Arts and Science

Robert Berne, Executive Vice President for Health
Diane C. Yu, Deputy President

Michael Patullo, Special Assistant to the Deputy President

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