Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion—and the approval process that made it possible—is a point of contention in the competitive race for Manhattan borough president.
Community Benefits Agreement
As construction progressed on the Manhattanville campus expansion this year, the West Harlem community finally saw the first of the benefits promised by Columbia. But new questions emerged about the University’s record on minority hiring.
Under the Community Benefits Agreement signed with West Harlem residents in 2009, the University is required to fund scholarships for 25 children to attend the day camp, which focuses on athletics and team-building exercises.
Columbia needs to make more information about its hiring practices available to the public.
Columbia has pledged to offer a certain percentage of contracts to businesses owned by minorities, women, or local residents—and the Empire State Development Corporation is seeing if the University is keeping up with its goal.
Minority-owned architecture firms claim that the University passed over them for other firms despite having equal or better qualifications.
The West Harlem Local Development Corporation, which is responsible for dispensing $76 million from Columbia for the West Harlem area, will begin accepting grants from local nonprofits Friday.
Columbia is about to construct a new building in Hamilton Heights for displaced Manhattanville residents, though some question whether the development will drive up prices at neighboring businesses.
Executive director Kofi Boateng described the past few months’ progress as the start of a new understanding between the WHLDC and the University. “They’ve been supportive, collaboratory, and forthcoming,” Boateng said.
Columbia’s agreement to help found the school was seen as one of the most important commitments it made in the 2009 Community Benefits Agreement—and Thursday’s event marked the fulfillment of that commitment.
Dec 5, 1:11am
It’s late. You’re most likely up, ruminating over the semester’s end that is whirling towards you like the Star Wars opening credits. Here’s some of the best, worst, and weirdest... Read More
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