Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Cornell’s largest building, got even bigger on Friday, as the college of Human Ecology celebrated the opening of the new west wing. Administrators, New York state officials, faculty, staff and students attended the ceremony at 7:45 a.m.
“The reason [it took place so early], is because it’s a very busy week for trustees and councilmen and there weren’t a lot of time slots available,” said Lorraine Johnson, director of alumni affairs for the College of Human Ecology.
Because the building is state-owned, New York State Assembly member Marty Luster (D-125) and State senator Randy Kuhl attended the ceremony. Christopher Marcella, from the State University of New York (SUNY) construction fund, who coordinated the construction project between the state and college, also addressed the attendees. The event was hosted by Patsy Brannon, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the college.
“It was misting and raining, but it was a lot of fun,” said Barry Brighton, chief business officer of the human ecology college.
The new wing will house a state-of-the-art Human Metabolic Research Unit, several specialized laboratories, two new lecture halls and an electronic classroom among other rooms and offices.
The metabolic unit will include a special dining room for nutrition studies and a four-person ward where subjects can be housed overnight. These laboratories will significantly improve research conditions and ensure that the Nutritional Sciences department has laboratories that remain competitive with facilities and other universities, according to Johnson.
The construction of the new addition is unrelated to plans for the older part of MVR which was closed last July due to deficiencies in the concrete slab floor supports.
The new west wing will provide much needed space to students and faculty of the College who were forced to relocate to the building that housed the old Mann Library when the north wing closed.
“Now, with the old building closed, it’s more critical than ever to address space needs,” Brighton said.
Classes will not be relocated there until next semester, according to Johnson. But faculty have begun to move their offices to the new wing.
As for reconstruction of the north wing, Kay Obendorf, associate dean of the human ecology college said, “We have an agreement with SUNY and the SUNY construction fund that there will be a replacement building and we’re in the process of defining a program and selecting an architect.”
That project will not commence until September 2004.
Archived article by Stacey Delikat