On Wednesday, nearly six years after winning then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's competition to develop an applied-sciences campus in New York City, Cornell Tech officially opened on Roosevelt Island.
A partnership between Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the tech-focused graduate school had operated out of Google's Chelsea building since 2012. This fall, the university will begin classes at its permanent home with around 300 students and 30 faculty members. In the coming years, Cornell Tech plans to enroll 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff.
"This is an exciting day for New York, obviously," Governor Andrew Cuomo said during Wednesday's ribbon cutting. "The opening of Cornell Tech is an extraordinary, extraordinary singular achievement. Just the design, the look, the feel of the campus you know is something different."
Billed as the first campus designed for the digital age, the school features three new high-tech buildings, including the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center, a four-story, 160,000 square foot academic center that generates all of its power on campus. There's also a 270-feet tall dormitory, which is said to be the tallest building in the world to meet rigorous passive house standards, DNAinfo reports.
The 2 million square foot campus cost $2 billion to build, with $100 million in capital funding from the city, $100 million from Bloomberg's private foundation, and additional philanthropic funding. Officials hope Cornell Tech will be an engine for New York City's tech industry—the second largest contributor to the city's private sector economy, according to a report commissioned by Bloomberg's foundation.
"High-tech companies and new, small companies that will be the next big companies, they tend to be created where the founders go to school,” Bloomberg told the Times. "You see that in Silicon Valley. Here was a chance to get a bunch of people educated and create the economy of the future for New York City."
Hopefully they'll keep their innovations away from our bodegas.