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Manhattanville FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the School need new facilities and what will they cost to build?
Why has the University chosen Manhattanville as the location for its new campus? What other schools will be on this campus?
When will construction begin?
What architect is designing the School’s new buildings? What will these buildings look like?
What environmentally responsible efforts are going into the project?
How will this project impact the West Harlem community?
How can I contribute to the new buildings? Are there naming opportunities?

Why does the School need new facilities and what will they cost to build?

As Columbia Business School has grown, the space constraints of Uris and Warren Halls have become ever more apparent. In order to continue to provide an unmatched student experience and remain a center for cutting-edge academic research, as well as to compete with its peer institutions, many of whom boast significantly more space per student, the School must expand the size of its facilities.

The School has set a $400 million fundraising goal to cover most of the cost of its new buildings.

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Why has the University chosen Manhattanville as the location for its new campus? What other schools will be on this campus?

Columbia University considered many sites for expansion, but settled on the old Manhattanville manufacturing area in West Harlem due to its size (approximately 6.8 million square feet), its proximity to the Morningside and Medical Center Campuses, the availability of public transportation, and the fact that it was a primarily nonresidential area. Also, the location provides an opportunity for the University to expand its already extensive community service programs to anchor the University as a committed neighborhood partner.

Joining Columbia Business School on the new Manhattanville Campus will be the School of the Arts, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, the University’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, the School of International and Public Affairs, and buildings for interdisciplinary research.

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When will construction begin?

Columbia University commenced construction on the Manhattanville site in September 2008, and work has been ongoing since then. For updates on construction, please visit the University’s Manhattanville site.

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What architect is designing the School’s new buildings? What will these buildings look like?

Renzo Piano of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) developed the master plan for the overall Manhattanville Campus. Elizabeth Diller of the New York–based architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with FXFowle, has been selected to design Columbia Business School’s new facilities. While no design elements have been formally decided upon, it is known that the School will be housed in two brand new buildings with a public square between them. In addition to offering much more space than Uris and Warren Halls, the new buildings will most likely feature:

  • Flexible classroom space with the latest technology
  • Breakout rooms for team discussions
  • Dedicated spaces for recruiting, mentoring, and advising activities
  • Additional space for special events and networking in a socially dynamic setting
  • Various cafés and dining facilities
  • Faculty spaces that encourage social and professional interaction across disciplines
  • More open office spaces that encourage collaboration and communication
  • An alumni welcome center
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    What environmentally responsible efforts are going into the project?

    Columbia University is committed to using a sustainable design and meeting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards regarding materials, energy alternatives, and water recycling in the construction of its new campus. Also, the Manhattanville design and construction team, University Facilities, the Office of Environmental Stewardship, and the Environmental Health and Safety staff, with input from the Mailman School of Public Health, have been working with the public interest group Environmental Defense Fund to develop a state-of-the-art plan to minimize the impact on air quality during construction in the Manhattanville area.

    To learn more about the University’s commitment to environmentally responsible construction, visit the University’s Manhattanville site.

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    How will this project impact the West Harlem community?

    A key element of the Manhattanville expansion plan is the revitalization of the surrounding community. Specifically, the local community will benefit from:

  • Nearly 6,000 new University jobs with competitive health, educational, and retirement benefits
  • An average of 1,200 construction-related jobs per year for the next quarter-century
  • More than $20 million in University funding to support affordable housing initiatives
  • An additional $76 million in University funding to meet community needs
  • Publicly accessible open spaces and improved, pedestrian-friendly streets — part of an environmentally sustainable urban design
  • New commercial life, including local shopping and dining, as well as a range of public amenities
  • In addition to the above, Columbia Business School offers a number of programs designed to assist the local community
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    How can I contribute to the new buildings? Are there naming opportunities?

    Columbia Business School is currently raising funds to pay for the new buildings, as well as to support the current operations of the School, including student financial aid, curriculum development, and faculty research. While specific plans for naming opportunities in the new buildings are being developed, there will be numerous opportunities to name classrooms, lecture halls, small-group meeting rooms, atria, and other areas within each of the new buildings.

    Apart from the new facilities, there always exist rewarding opportunities to attach one’s name to important aspects of Columbia Business School, from professorships to financial aid awards to endowed funds to support faculty research. To learn more about these opportunities and others, please contact Tanya Mújica Keenan at 212-854-3427 or at tm2596@columbia.edu.

    To make a gift to Columbia Business School, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/makeagift.

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