Updated: 11:32 a.m.
Cornell University has won the competition to build a new engineering campus to New York City, potentially setting back funding for Columbia's plan to build three applied science buildings on its Manhattanville campus. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce Cornell's victory at 2:30 p.m. today, NYC Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Public Affairs Patrick Muncie told Spectator.
But it is still unclear whether Columbia would receive any of the competition's $100 million grant prize, since Bloomberg has previously indicated that he might give money to more than one proposal. Muncie said that Bloomberg will announce whether or not any other proposals have been chosen at his 2:30 p.m. press conference, which will take place at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Columbia's submission to the mayor's competition was the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, which would take up 1.1 million square feet and three buildings in Manhattanville. Cornell is partnering with the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology to build a campus on Roosevelt Island.
School of Engineering and Applied Science graduate students Ryan Turner, one of SEAS' representatives in the University Senate, said that Cornell's victory is not all bad.
“Obviously we’re all a little disappointed," he said. "But I think we’re looking forward to a brighter future for engineering in New York. That’s the silver lining there.”
Turner said the specialized projects and departments at Cornell’s new school would complement SEAS programs.
“I don’t think it’s an issue to have another engineering campus, I think the possibility for collaboration is really good,” he said.
Cornell and Stanford were considered the two frontrunners in the competition, which awards the winning school funding as well as land on either Roosevelt or Governors Island. Stanford withdrew from the competition on Friday, and hours later, Cornell announced an anonymous $350 million gift it had received towards its proposal—the largest in the school's history.
The competition was widely seen as an attempt by Bloomberg, in his last term as mayor of New York, to build a Silicon Valley in Manhattan. But Stanford had difficulty negotiating with the city, which reportedly asked the Palo Alto school to continue to make edits on its proposal long after it had been submitted.
Stanford University spokesperson Lisa Lapin said in an email to Spectator, "Stanford's decision had nothing to do with Cornell's gift or Cornell in any way. It had to do with negotiation terms between the city and Stanford."
Casey Tolan contributed reporting.