Cornell addresses short- and long-term student housing needs

Current residents living in Maplewood Park Apartments and those moving in this fall have recently received notification that the complex will close at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. Students who need new housing in 2016 will have university support through offices in Student and Academic Services, including the International Students and Scholars Office, Housing and Dining Contracts Office and Off-Campus Living Office.

Resources for housing
Residents with questions about Maplewood can contact Missy Riker, Graduate Housing coordinator, at (607) 255-9764.
Resources for off-campus housing can be found on the Off-Campus Living website or by contacting Denise Thompson, 607-255-2310.

“While Maplewood has served our community for more than 25 years, we have been aware that maintaining the complex was not sustainable, as the structures have just about reached the end of their useful life,” said KyuJung Whang, vice president for Infrastructure, Properties and Planning. Whang noted that the future of the Maplewood site is part of a larger discussion on Cornell's commitment to address the university's student housing needs long-term.

It was important to us that Maplewood residents who need continued housing be given the time and assistance to find alternative living options, said Susan Murphy, vice president for student and academic services. Through our offices in Student and Academic Services, Cornell is committed to helping graduate and professional students and their families with community contacts and reviewing off-campus housing options, area neighborhoods and housing in the surrounding community, she said.

Cornell leaders also will meet with government and business leaders, as well as neighborhood groups, to discuss potential challenges and opportunities tied to Maplewood’s closing.

The needs of both graduate and undergraduate students for suitable off-campus housing have been under consideration for some time. In 2012, the Graduate and Professional Community Initiative (GPCI) Housing Working Group, including Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) representatives, was formed to discuss graduate and professional student housing needs, including those related to Maplewood.

We are committed to both the students and the local community to create living spaces in areas beyond central campus and promote multiple strategies to add housing to the market, said Whang. These include the development of both the East Hill Plaza area and the Maplewood site. Cornell also continues its commitment to the Tompkins County Housing Fund, which develops housing, including rentals, for low- to moderate-income working families.

At the same time, various university groups, including student representatives and other stakeholders, are continuing to gather further information on student housing needs as well as explore longer-term solutions to those needs.

We understand that a strong sense of community and availability of appropriate amenities and support are important to our graduate and professional student population and ultimately contribute to their academic success at Cornell, said Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. I am confident that university leaders will continue to work with students and community partners to identify creative long-term solutions that will meet the housing needs of future generations of students as well as those who are here.

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Joe Schwartz