But Where Will The Building Go?
To only add to the flury of news coming from East Hill this week, it was announced today by both the Sun and the Cornell News Service that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $25 million to a new building dedicated solely for the computing and information sciences.
This is great news, especially in light of the fact that the building is directly linked to an initiative aimed at integrating the computing/information sciences across a wide range of disciplines - including not just the physical and biological sciences, but also the humanities and social sciences. Great stuff going on. My only question is: where is this building going to go?
Says the Daily Sun:
The 100,000-square-foot building will cost $50 million and will be home to a lecture hall, faculty offices, classrooms, laboratories, student project spaces and conference rooms.
It has not yet been decided where the building will be built or when it will be completed.
According to Kenneth Birman, professor of computer science and chair of the CIS building committee, there are "over a dozen" possible locations for the building, which will be a part of an "information campus" which will include several linked buildings.
Birman said that the project calls for the complex to be in close proximity to the Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Sciences and the new Life Sciences Building.
And the Cornell News Service
According to Kenneth Birman, professor of computer science and chair of the CIS building committee, the information campus project is still in the feasibility study stage. Gates Hall is estimated at 100,000 square feet and projected to cost about $50 million. Expanded construction beyond the signature building is planned, based on support from Cornell and additional donors. When completed, the information campus will be a complex of linked buildings integrated with a variety of green spaces and common spaces designed to involve students and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
So the new Life Sciences building is being built over on the eastern side of the central campus, next to Lynah and across from the Ag School. The epicenter of Arts is at the top of the Slope, by Uris Library, and the Engineering College hugs Cascadilla Gorge at the south end of the Central Campus. Short of building on top the Hotel School, these three units aren't exactly in close proximity to each other.
I've created a crude map using Windows Live Local that blocks out all of the areas of central campus that have either been slated for construction, currently are undergoing construction, or will be under construction in the near future. These areas are in light blue, and include Duffield Hall and the Engineering Quad, the Life Sciences Building, Bailey Hall and Bailey Plaza, Ives Hall, the Hotel School, the North Wing of Martha Van, the Johnson, the new AAP building, Lynah Rink, and the new Physical Sciences Building. This building frenzy doesn't exactly leave an area "in close proximity to the Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Sciences and the new Life Sciences Building," complete with "a complex of linked buildings integrated with a variety of green spaces and common spaces designed to involve students and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration."
Now, I've also highlighted the areas of campus that might be ripe for the new Gates building in red. As you can see, there isn't a lot of room left on central campus that the Univrsity has left to play around with -- perhaps the Johnson School parking lot offers the most central location, but beyond that -- all of the remaining (usable) space is out by the Ag School and beyond.
So where is Gates going to be able to put his building? The Slope? Down by the Vet School? Or are they going to knock down Uris? (And if so, where are all of the social science departments going to go?)