Sunday, July 23, 2006

Columbia rewrites its campus plans

Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2006 06:26:06 -0400

From: "Tenant"
Subject: Maxine and Jordi

Columbia rewrites its campus plans
By Erik Engquist & Anne Michaud
Published on July 24, 2006

Columbia University has modified plans for its proposed $7 billion satellite campus in Manhattanville after several years of resisting complaints from community leaders about the way the project walled itself off from the surrounding neighborhood.

The new design shifts open space from the center of the campus toward the western edge, to connect to a city park being developed on the Hudson River. It lowers and varies the height of some buildings, and it reopens a 125th Street entrance to a residential building for faculty and staff, says Maxine Griffith, Columbia's executive vice president for government and community affairs.

Community officials praised the alterations, which they were shown earlier this month. "For them, it has been a major change," says Community Board 9 Chairman Jordi Reyes-Montblanc.

Columbia officials hope to begin the seven-month city land-use approval process for the project in the fall. But Mr. Reyes-Montblanc believes that is overly optimistic. More than 80 people have filed objections with the city Planning Department to Columbia's draft environmental impact study. Those complaints must be answered before the land-use approval process can start.
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