August 29, 2008

A New Cornell:

Print More

Cornell is a place of change: from the students who pass through campus to the scientific innovations that University researchers pioneer. Thus, it’s only fitting that the campus changes as well. Here are some of the latest transformations that the University is currently undergoing.
The Johnson Museum broke ground on its 16,000 square foot addition in May, prompting a groundbreaking celebration in which President David Skorton read a haiku. The 35-year-old museum will receive $20 million, which will go towards the addition of a lecture room, new galleries, a workshop studio and more storage space. Though the University still lacked $1 million of the money needed for the addition as of May, the new Johnson is scheduled to open in 2010.
When Olin Library reopened for the semester, the café sported a fresh new look, contrasting sharply with the older furniture that previously inhabited the lounge. Newer chairs, added tables, a new serving counter, a different orientation to the room and a wider food selection were the results of the renovation. Over the summer, construction workers also took down a limestone panel from the exterior side of the building facing the Arts Quad. Its removal was part of a study to determine how to rebuild the outer wall, one facet of what could be an extensive renovation to the entire Library. The Olin Renovation Committee hopes that construction will begin after this academic year ends.
Weill Hall, Cornell’s new $162 million, 263,000 square foot life sciences building, is finally nearing completion, and will officially open in October. The new facility is meant to bolster Cornell’s life sciences initiative, which hopes to gain international notoriety for “genomics-led science,” according to the University. Richard Meier B.Arch. ’57 designed the building to be completely white, with many atriums and open spaces. Special features of the building include a basement that is twice as big as the actual footprint of the building, and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver rating.
Additionally, West Campus is finally construction-free. After years spent developing the five new buildings that house upperclassmen, the completion of Keeton House and another as-of-yet unnamed building signify the end of the final phase of the initiative. Students moved into Keeton last week and the other building will open as a dormitory in 2009. The completion of the West Campus Housing Initiative — which has cost the University almost a quarter of a billion dollars — took place two years ahead of schedule, an effort taken to keep costs down in the face of growing inflation. University administrators, including Skorton, waved to students from atop bulldozers as the final construction trucks pulled away. [img_assist|nid=31282|title=Keenen House Dining Hall|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Other changes around campus include a new outdoor seating section for the Temple of Zeus Café in Goldwin Smith Hall, construction outside Sibley Hall on the Arts Quad, continued work on the new Physical Sciences Building along East Ave. and construction of the new Human Ecology Building behind Martha Van Rensselaer Hall.