Construction on a new 290-car garage behind Martha Van Rensselaer (MVR) Hall has officially begun. It is the first of a two-phase, $77.7 million construction project; the second phase comprises construction of a new 88,228-square-foot building for the College of Human Ecology on Forest Home Drive that will be connected to MVR.
Slated to open in 2012, the new Human Ecology Building will provide the college with state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research in science and design.
It will house a new art gallery, teaching and research labs, design studios, a wood shop, administrative and faculty offices, and conference and seminar space for the college. It will be connected to MVR via an inner courtyard and by way of the new 5,348-square-foot Commons, a large, open, multipurpose interior space. A terrace and exterior walkway will provide extensive outdoor public space and expansive views across Beebe Lake and North Campus.
"I greatly appreciate the hard work of so many people who have brought us this far, and am eager and enthusiastic about what the future holds," said Alan Mathios, interim dean of the College of Human Ecology, who presided over a construction kickoff celebration Jan. 30. "Our new building will provide state-of-the-art facilities for Human Ecology's outstanding teaching and research, and the garage will provide key parking spaces to the university community, with its proximity to Bailey Hall being an especially attractive feature."
The project was designed by Gruzen-Samton Architects LLP of New York City. The lead architect is Darko Hreljanovic, a 1977 graduate of Cornell's architecture college. Pike Construction, based in Rochester, has begun work on the parking garage. Bid packages for construction of the Human Ecology Building will be advertised beginning Feb. 4.
The new building is going up on the site of the former north wing of MVR, which was demolished in 2005-06 because of structural deficiencies.