Back in July, Mayor Bloomberg put out a call for a new applied science campus for which the city would provide essentially free real estate and $100 million in infrastructure help. Now, with less than a month to go for bids, the competition is getting fierce. Last week Stanford teamed up with CCNY for one proposal and now Cornell has enlisted the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for another one. Though the city is looking for proposals for schools either on Roosevelt Island, Governors Island or the Brooklyn Navy Yard, both elite schools are particularly interested in Roosevelt Island since it already has good infrastructure and easy transit connections. Plus, who wouldn't want to take the tram to class?
Interested schools have until October 28 to submit their bids and it looks like there should be quite a few. Back in March, 18 institutions expressed interest in the competition. Still, many feel that Stanford and Cornell are the frontrunners. According to Crain's, Stanford is totally committed to NYC: "The Harlem-Palo Alto connection will not wait for the mayor's decision, expected by the end of the year. Using a grant Stanford won from the National Sciences Foundation, Stanford@CCNY will immediately launch an East Coast demonstration site on the City College campus for Stanford's undergraduate program in entrepreneurship, technology, management and related areas."
Cornell is hoping for some hometown advantage, emphasizing its medical school ties in the city. If it wins, Cornell will "construct the campus, which could eventually grow to 2 million square feet of building space, and cost more than $1 billion" and then the two schools would run the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute jointly (including conferring joint degrees).
Whoever gets it, local pols clearly are pushing for the Roosevelt option: "An applied sciences and engineering facility on Roosevelt Island offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spur western Queens' transformation into a world-class hub of technology and entrepreneurship and to generate significant long-term job growth for the borough," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens/Manhattan) said at a presser announcing the Cornell bid yesterday.
All of which sounds great—New York can certainly use a top-notch science school—but as for the name? Won't somebody take up the gauntlet laid down by Spider-Man and open up an Empire State University?