Milstein Hall Construction On Schedule

After nearly a decade of cutting though a jungle of bureaucratic red tape, the construction of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning’s new 47,000 square-foot Paul Milstein Hall is well underway. With little delays expected, the project should be completed by Aug. 2011, restoring University Avenue, the AAP Quad and the Arts Quad to normalcy.
As many members of the Cornell community have noticed, the portion of University Avenue stretching from East Avenue to Central Avenue is closed. As a result, a temporary road has been built connecting University Avenue with Central Avenue in order to allow access to the Johnson Art Museum and the buildings along the western side of the Arts Quad.

Trustees Vote "Yes" on Milstein, But Faculty Concerns Linger

Cornell’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 24 to support President David Skorton’s recommendation to proceed with the construction of Milstein Hall. This green-light for the project comes after several months of contentious campus debate over whether the University should continue with Milstein Hall in the wake of its financial troubles.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Chairman of the Board of Trustees Peter Meinig ’62 said. “Every now and then, we need to make such tough decisions … You can’t shut down a university where there are programmatic imperatives.”

University Approves 13 New Construction Projects

Skorton announced yesterday that 13 new construction projects have been approved, working past the construction moratorium issued last November that suspended all major construction projects not currently underway.
The moratorium was issued in order to review and prioritize the projects and capital available to the University. According to the statement, the review is quickly proceeding so that approvals can be made on a case-by-case basis while expenditures and debt are carefully monitored.
The statement also announced that information regarding pending projects will be available to the public through CUinfo under “budget resources.” The link will allow individuals to access specific data regarding projects, including the purpose, justification, funding and status.

Cornell Seeks To Maintain Its Accreditation

Cornell is beginning the work required to keep its accreditation. Every 10 years, the University must complete a self-study that proves Cornell is meeting the requirements for accreditation. The next study is due in the Fall of 2010. The stakes are high — accreditation is required for students to receive federal financial aid and for graduates of some programs, like the architecture school, to receive a license.
The self-study is a huge, two-year long process. It must prove to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which awards accreditation to Cornell, that the University meets the commission’s 14 accreditation requirements.

Faculty Debates Milstein Merits

In an auditorium filled to the brim with students, faculty and administrators, the Faculty Senate Committee met yesterday to discuss Cornell’s state in the recent financial downturn. After Provost Kent Fuchs discussed Cornell’s reaction to the economic crisis, Prof. Abby Cohn, linguistics, introduced a resolution to pause construction of Milstein Hall, the proposed new building for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning that has been in the works for over a decade.
“This resolution is neither for nor against Milstein Hall, but is about the process and decisions made during these difficult [financial] times,” Cohn said.

C.U. to Evaluate Building Projects During Pause

The construction freeze an­nounced by President David Skorton on Oct. 30, 2008 will not affect all building plans and instead will permit several projects to progress.
The construction pause will give the University a chance to re-evaluate “every project that has not got the shovel in the ground,” according to Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell Press Relations. The University will, for example, make use of the pause to prioritize and look into the funding of such projects.

Ithaca Board Grants Final Approval For Milstein Plan

The contentious debate over plans for Milstein Hall finally reached an end yesterday evening when the City of Ithaca’s Planning and Development Board unanimously approved the final site plan resolution.
The Milstein Hall discussion at yesterday’s meeting was largely procedural. Kim Michaels, senior landscape architect for Trowbridge & Wolf, LLP, and Andrew Magre ’90 presented samples of the project’s building materials to the board. No members of the public addressed the board.

Milstein Hall Passes Hurdle After a Contentious Debate

Ten years and four sets of architects later, Cornell has moved one step closer to building Milstein Hall after gaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission last night.
With the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board’s preliminary site plan approval of Milstein Hall on Jan. 6, Cornell now only needs final site plan approval from the planning board. A meeting to consider the approval is scheduled for later this month.
This 59,000 square-foot extension to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning will connect Rand and Sibley halls, “knit[ting] disparate programs of our college together,” said Prof. Kevin Pratt, architecture, at the meeting.